Jamaica weathers the storm

By all accounts Hurricane Sandy, which made landfall in Jamaica on Wednesday, was easier on some parts of the island than others. 

Areas worst affected included places such as Portland and Kingston, with many reports of electricity being lost and substantial damage to homes. So far, one death has been reported, with a man being crushed by a boulder that came into his home. It is unclear which Parish the death occurred in. 

Sandy is responsible for at least one other death; a woman in Haiti, who was killed when she was swept away trying to cross a river. There have also been reports of looting taking place in the island’s capital and one officer being shot during these incidents. It unclear whether the officer’s injuries are life threatening. The Caymanian Compass spoke with some residents in Jamaica who were able to tell us what the situation was like on the ground as of today. 

“May Pen, Manchester and St. Elizabeth all seemed to have been OK. Here in May Pen, we had lights all the way through but there have been some cases where people’s roofs have blown off. It is still raining in some places but for the most part things have subsided generally speaking,” noted Michael Rowe of May Pen, Jamaica.  

The resort town of Negril in the west of the island escaped the brunt of Sandy’s wrath. 

Residents had braced for the worst after experiencing extensive damage when Hurricane Ivan ravaged the beach town in 2004 and water and electricity services were lost for weeks. 

Sandy cut electricity and water supplies in Negril on Wednesday, but they had been restored by Thursday morning. 

“Negril alright man,” noted resident Orlando Vaughn, who added there was little to report in terms of Hurricane Sandy’s fury with regard to Negril. 

Sandy was a Category 1 hurricane that packed winds of up to 80 miles per hour and dumped several inches of rain over the island. A Hurricane warning has now been put in place for the Bahamas, while Florida has been placed on a tropical storm watch as of 11am Eastern Daylight Saving Time. The storm, which is already a massive system is expected to grow in size, according to Michael Brennan of the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre. 

After emerging off the northeast coast of Jamaica, Sandy rapidly intensified to a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 105 miles per hour, making landfall near Santiago de Cuba early Thursday morning. One weather station in the mountainous terrain near Santiago de Cuba reportedly measured a wind gust of 152 miles per hour.  

Though Hurricane Sandy has not directly affected the Cayman Islands, the territory has received scattered rain showers, windy conditions and rough seas. This week’s formation of Sandy, along with Tropical Storm Tony in the open Atlantic, ties the 2012 hurricane season for the third most named storms in recorded history with 19. The Atlantic Basin hurricane season still has five more weeks before it ends on 30 November. 

Areas worst affected included places like Portland and Kingston, with many reports of electricity being lost and substantial damage to homes. 

1 COMMENT

  1. I am most grateful to the Caymanian Compass online for the full and detailed report on the effect that hurricane Sandy had on my homeland of Kingston Jamaica. I would not get such an up-to-date comprehensive report of the hurricane through the major news media here in New York. Perhaps only through the overseas edition of some Jamaican newspaper or Jamaica-connected radio station here.

    I relocated to the United States many years ago and do not have any family left in Jamaica, hence no contact there to inform me of happenings in the island. However, I am definitely interested to know how the island fears when natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, etc, and other major things occur.

    So, once again, my sincere gratitude to the Compass, which I access online everyday, for the report.

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