The storm made landfall on the Lower Matecumbe, located approximately in the middle of the Florida Keys archipelago.
Eta strengthened over the last stretch of sea between Cuba and the United States, and the wind strength was measured at around 27.8 meters per second local time on Sunday night when the storm center approached the southern part of Florida.
The US Hurricane Warning Center (NHC) warned that Eta could grow to hurricane strength, and has warned of dangerous storm surges, floods and strong winds.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Saturday declared a state of emergency in the state’s southern counties, pending the storm. On Monday, schools in the Florida Keys will be closed, and corona test centers will be temporarily closed. Authorities have opened evacuation centers and distributed sandbags to protect homes from flooding.
Eta hit Nicaragua on Tuesday with hurricane strength and heavy rainfall, but the wind speed was reduced. In Central America, about 200 people are dead or missing, among them about 150 in Guatemala. In Honduras, 23 people died. In the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, at least 20 people died before the storm moved further across the high seas to Cuba.
Eta reached land at 4.30 on Sunday morning with strong winds and rain. The wind speed was 26.4 meters per second. It is below the limit of hurricane, which is at 33 meters per second.
No lives were lost and no major damage was done to homes, President Miguel Díaz-Canel said on Sunday.
Prior to that, 74,000 people had been evacuated from their homes.