The rains from Tropical Storm Michael are pummeling the Cuban provinces of Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth, as well as the coast of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche, including Cozumel.

Michael is moving with maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour. 

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Michael will move over the Yucatan Channel on Monday and the across the eastern Gulf of Mexico late Monday through Tuesday night. 

The center warned Michael’s rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides in Cuba’s mountainous terrain. 

Forecasters predict the storm will gradually strengthen into a hurricane by Monday or Tuesday, as it approaches the U.S. northeastern Gulf coast on Wednesday. 

Rick Scott, governor of the U.S. southern state of Florida, has declared a state of emergency for 26 counties, a move that frees up resources for storm preparation. 

“This storm will be life-threatening and extremely dangerous,” Scott said Sunday. 

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