This Travel Warning is being issued to urge U.S.citizens to carefully consider the risks of travel to Cuba at this time due to the threat posed by Hurricane Ike. The Department of State authorized the departure of non-emergency personnel and eligible family members of the United States Interests Section in Havana, Cuba. As of September 7, 2008 at 1300 hrs, the storm is currently located 130 miles east-north east of Guantanamo, Cuba and is expected to pass over the entire length of island as a category 4 or 3 hurricane during the September 7-9 timeframe. Updates on the storm’s track and intensity can be found at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov.
The U.S. Interests Section in Havana will be open until 2 PM on Monday September 8 and will remain closed on Tuesday, September 9 for all but emergency American Citizens Services which will be available at all times. U.S. citizens in Cuba who do not have access to adequate and safe shelter should consider departing while commercial flights are still available. Seating capacity on commercial flights is extremely limited. Flights into and out of Jose Marti International Airport in Havana may be suspended at any time.