Guantanamo Naval Base Ordered To ‘Shelter in Place’ During Hurricane Irma

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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kegan E. Kay

The view of downtown Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.

Military personnel stationed at Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba have been ordered to shelter in place during Hurricane Irma as the U.S. Navy base braces for the Category 5 storm.

The base, often referred to as Gitmo, is located on the southeastern island of Cuba just 400 miles south of Miami. A hurricane warning is in effect for Cuba.

Navy officials sent out a notice on Tuesday that the base is at Tropical Cyclone Conditions of Readiness Level 3, warning that “destructive winds are possible within 48 hours.”

Naval Station Guantanamo Bay is now at Condition of Readiness III (COR 3) in preparation for Hurricane Irma. Destructive winds are expected within 48 hours. At this time, continue general operations, while also ensuring you are prepared by securing outdoor furniture and equipment and preparing to shelter. Continue to monitor 102.1/103.1 FM for updates.

Non-essential facilities have been closed but evacuations are not planned at this time, according to the Miami Herald.

There are more than 5,000 personnel and their family members on the base, according to the Defense Department.

The base houses a detention center for suspects in the so-called “War on Terror.” There are 41 detainees being held at Guantanamo as of January, according to the Defense Department.