Forecasters expect Hurricane Wilma to gain both strength and speed as it moves across the southern Gulf of Mexico on Sunday toward the U.S. state of Florida.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Wilma is now moving to the northeast at 19 kilometers per hour, on a track to hit Florida's western coast on Monday. The storm is currently dropping heavy rain on western Cuba, where officials evacuated more than a half-million people from low-lying areas. Meanwhile, witnesses report widespread property damage and flooding from Wilma across Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. The area was pounded by more than two days of high winds and heavy rains when Wilma came nearly to a standstill. Tourists emerging from shelters waded through the streets of Cancun today, looking for food and clean water. The hurricane center says Wilma remains a Category Two storm with sustained winds of 160 kilometers per hour. At least 19 people have been killed in the storm, including at least six in the Yucatan