days ago before moving on to Louisiana, on the U.S. Gulf coast, two days later. Gustav came ashore near New Orleans, the city swamped by Hurricane Katrina three years ago.
For days, Ike appeared to be aimed at the heart of U.S. energy production near the coast of Louisiana and east Texas. As a result, energy companies, which had shut down most oil and gas output during Gustav, delayed restarting their production.
But Ike's latest most likely track shifted to the south and west, toward the Mexican border. It was expected to regain Category 3 strength before hitting the coast.
The shift eased fears that Ike would threaten New Orleans, still scarred by Katrina in 2003, which killed 1,500 people and caused $80 billion in damage on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
CUBA ECONOMIC TOLL
Ike caused serious damage when it hit Britain's Turks and Caicos Islands and the southern Bahamas as a ferocious Category 4 hurricane. Floods triggered by its torrential rains were blamed for at least 66 deaths in Haiti, where Tropical Storm Hanna killed 500 last week.
Ike was expected to take a toll on the economy of Cuba, still reeling from Gustav's destruction of more than 100,000 homes.
The storm swept through the main growing regions for sugar and coffee and shut down Cuba's nickel mines and processing plants. People in the stricken eastern provinces reported that the storm stripped ripening beans from coffee bushes and leveled fields of sugar cane.
Production of nickel, the island's top export, was stopped as the storm approached on Sunday. Nickel production is located in the state of Holguin, where Ike made landfall on Sunday with 120 mph (195 kph) winds and which bore the full brunt of the storm.
4- Cuba - Deadly hurricane heads for Havana
09 – 09 – 08
Hurricane Ike is heading towards the Cuban capital, Havana, after causing widespread flooding and damage to the country's eastern provinces.
Tens of thousands of people are being moved from vulnerable areas and crumbling buildings in the capital.
Ike battered the east of the island with torrential rain and giant waves on Monday, killing four people.
It has weakened to a Category One storm, but forecasters say it could strengthen before hitting Havana.