Trail of destruction
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Oct 24, CMC – Hurricane Sandy, a Category One storm, was emerging off the northeast coast of Jamaica Wednesday night after causing widespread damage and power outages. But so far there are no reports of any death.
Schools, businesses and the two international airports remained closed as Sandy, the first hurricane to have a direct hit on the Caribbean island since Hurricane Gustave in 2007, moved towards Eastern Cuba on Wednesday night.
The Ministry of Education said that schools would remain closed on Thursday.
The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) said that more than 1,000 people had gone to various shelters across the island, heeding earlier warnings to evacuate low lying areas as rising flood waters caused by the hurricane swept across many areas.
The Jamaica Defence Force remained on high alert to evacuate some fishermen who had decided to ride out the storm on the Pedro and Morant Cays of the south coast of the island.
The Jamaica Power Service (JPS) reported that over 70 per cent of the island is without electricity as the 80 miles per hour (mph) winds of the 18th named storm of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season, knoked over poles and ripping off the roofs of several buildings.
Some people, who used the social websites Twitter and Facebook to inform relatives outside of Jamaica about the passage of the storm, said the “transformers were blowing up like firecrackers”.
(Details in Full News section)