Hurricane Watch in effect

| 27/08/2008

(CNS): With Gustav heading for the Cayman Islands, a Hurricane Watch came into effect 6:00 pm Tuesday indicating that hurricane conditions could begin to affect the Cayman Islands by early Thursday, according to the latest report from the Hazard Management Cayman Islands’ Joint Communications Service (JCS).

JCS reports that the Sister Islands Emergency Committee is monitoring Hurricane Gustav and initiating preparations, and keeping in close touch with Hazard Management Cayman Islands. According to the National Hurricane Centre in Miami, at 5:00 pm EDT Hurricane Gustav was located near 18.4 north and 73.2 west, or about 450 miles east-southeast of the Sister Islands, and 538 miles east-southeast of Grand Cayman. The storm is moving toward the northwest near 10 mph. A turn toward the west-northwest, with a decrease in forward speed, is expected tonight and a general west-northwest motion is expected on Wednesday.

Gustav is a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 75 mph, with higher gusts. Some weakening is likely while the center is over land, but re-strengthening is forecast to begin when the centre moves back over water tonight or early Wednesday. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 15 miles from the centre, and tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles. The estimated minimum central pressure is 992 Mb.

JCS recommends that Cayman Islands residents should monitor all local media outlets that carry local news in order to stay informed about Hurricane Gustav. The next JCS bulletin will be issued at 10 pm local time this evening.

At this time, residents should make sure they have food and medicine supplies, shuttering supplies, as well as important documents, including travel documents, in order. They should also look after marine interests and have a pet safety plan. Residents are also advised to check generators and make sure they have fuel, and ensure that family members and anyone who will be staying with them in the event of a storm are aware of the plan.

Gustav, the seventh storm of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season, Fears that Gustav may strike US Gulf of Mexico oil rigs and refineries by next week pushed the price of crude oil up by more than $2 a barrel.


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