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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With Hurricane Irma continuing on its westward path, the areas inside the projected path are making sure people will be as safe as possible.

Haiti’s interior minister has ordered the evacuation of coastal areas in the north of the country.

That includes people living in and around Port-de-Paix and the island known as Il de la Tortue.

Haiti is expected to be spared a direct hit from Hurricane Irma but heavy rains and high surf could trigger dangerous floods in the impoverished country.

Interior Minister Max Rudolph Saint-Albin is urging people to move to higher ground. Shelters have been set up the Civil Protection agency.

The evacuation is mandatory but Haiti does not have enough police or other officials to enforce evacuation orders and the number of people who left vulnerable areas is not known.

The Cuban civil defense agency is preparing people on the northern coast of Cuba’s eastern provinces for a sideswipe from Hurricane Irma in the hours ahead.

Santiago province has opened 125 evacuation centers that can hold 38,000 people. Another 20,000 people can take refuge with neighbors and family in safer zones.

Civil Defense representative Odesa Fuentes said the centers will be open for the duration of the storm’s passage on Friday.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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