Hurricane hits Jamaican capital

2012-10-24 23:14
(AP, File)

(AP, File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Miami - The crowded Jamaican capital took a direct hit on Wednesday from Hurricane Sandy as hundreds took refuge in emergency shelters and poor slum dwellers in Kingston's sprawling shanty towns hunkered down.

Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson cut short a visit to Canada and rushed home before the island's international airports closed and as police ordered a 48-hour curfew in major towns for safety and to deter looters.

"We now have over 437 persons in emergency shelters though those numbers could be higher at this time," Ronald Jackson, head of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), told the Jamaica Observer.

The eye of Sandy made landfall 7km south of Kingston - home to one million of Jamaica's 2.7 million inhabitants - at 15:00 local time (19:00 GMT), packing sustained winds of 110km/h.

The storm was moving north at 20km/h, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre, which warned that the situation in Jamaica was deteriorating and Sandy could strengthen further.

Jamaican officials had issued mandatory evacuation orders late on Tuesday for at-risk communities in low-lying coastal areas of the Caribbean nation.

Hurricane conditions were expected in eastern Cuba later on Wednesday before Sandy heads over the Bahamas on Thursday and Friday, according to the NHC. Tropical storm conditions were also forecast for Florida's east coast.

Tropical Storm Gustav, which was less powerful than Hurricane Sandy with sustained winds of 100km/h, killed seven people in Jamaica in 2008.

Hurricane Ivan, a maximum category five on the Saffir-Simpson scale and the sixth most intense Atlantic hurricane on record, killed 17 people and left 18 000 homeless when it smashed into Jamaica in September 2004.

In Cuba, authorities have issued a hurricane warning for more than half the country, including the US naval base at Guantanamo where terror suspects are held.

In 2008, Cuba was hit by three hurricanes that caused a total of $10bn in damage and affected more than half a million homes.

Read more on:    jamaica  |  weather  |  us superstorm

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Amazing solar inventions!

Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops anymore.



Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

There is a tendency to get too caught up in group dynamics and high expectations and ideals, that your own personal needs more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.