Hurricane Sandy on course for Kingston

| 24/10/2012

sandy3.JPG(CNS): Jamaica was being pounded by rain Wednesday lunchtime as Sandy became a hurricane. The Category one hurricane was located around 30 miles south of Kingston at 1pm local time. With maximum sustained winds of 80mph and higher gusts the storm was moving towards the capital at 14mph. The National Hurricane Centre in Miami warned that additionalstrengthening was still possible before Sandy made landfall on the south coast. Hurricane force winds currently extend outward up to 25 miles with tropical storm force winds extending a further 140 miles. Forecasters said 20 inches of rain was possible in some areas of Jamaica which could produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.

Despite Sandy’s path being well to the east of the Cayman Islands local forecasters warned of very high seas. The hurricane is currently around 270 miles se of Cayman Brac and is expected to bring heavy showers which could lead to flooding of low-lying areas, especially over the Sister Islands.  

Fresh to strong east to northeast winds, and very rough seas are expected in Cayman over the next two days, peaking near nine feet and a marine warning remains in effect.
Meanwhile, in Jamaica the airports were closed and cruise ships changed their itineraries as Jamaicans were subject to a 48-hour curfew in the major towns to keep people off the streets and in an effort to deter looting while hundreds of people have moved to shelters to wait out the category one storm.

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