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 Hurricane Gustav Nears Cuba With 195 kph Winds
At last report, Gustav's winds had increased to 195 kilometers an hour, making it a Category 3 storm on a scale that measures hurricane intensity.

Forecaster say Gustav may strengthen even more Saturday and could produce more than a half-meter of rain in some areas of western Cuba.

The U.S National Hurricane Center in Miami predicts Gustav will move into the southern Gulf of Mexico early Sunday and then into the central Gulf by early Monday.  It could gather still more power over the warm waters off the U.S. Gulf coast.

Forecasters say the storm may strike the southern U.S. anywhere from western Florida to Texas.

Gustav is being blamed for at least 80 deaths in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.

Authorities in the U.S. Gulf coast states, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, began evacuating some residents Friday.  Thousands of workers have been evacuated from oil installations in the Gulf of Mexico.
U.S. President George Bush declared a federal state of emergency in the state of Louisiana, a likely target for the storm.  Its path may include the city of New Orleans, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina three years ago.


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