Hurricane Sandy pounds Jamaica, then aims at Cuba – could morph into winter storm for U.S. northeast

October 25, 2012KINGSTON, Jamaica  — Hurricane Sandy lashed precarious shantytowns, stranded travelers and downed power lines with heavy wind and rain Wednesday as it roared across Jamaica and then headed for an overnight landfall in eastern Cuba and go on to threaten the Bahamas and possibly Florida. Sandy’s death toll was at least two. An elderly man was killed in Jamaica when he was crushed by a boulder that rolled onto his clapboard house, police reported. Earlier Wednesday, a woman in Haiti was swept away by a rushing river she was trying to cross. The storm hit Jamaica as a category 1 hurricane then strengthened as it spun over open sea toward Cuba. U.S. forecasters said it had maximum sustained winds of 90 mph (150 kph) late Wednesday and might grow into a category 2 storm before going ashore. It was moving north at about 13 mph (20 kph) and hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 30 miles (45 kilometers) from the center. In some southern towns on Jamaica, a few crocodiles were caught in rushing floodwaters that carried them out of their homes in mangrove thickets, showing up in districts where electricity was knocked out, local residents reported. One big croc took up temporary residence in a family’s front yard in the city of Portmore. The hurricane’s eye crossed over Jamaica by Wednesday evening and emerged from its northern coast near the town of Port Antonio, meteorologists said, but rain and winds continued to pound the Caribbean island into the night. It was the first direct hit by the eye of a hurricane on Jamaica since Hurricane Gilbert 24 years ago, and fearful authorities closed the island’s international airports and police ordered 48-hour curfews in major towns to keep people off the streets and deter looting. Cruise ships changed their itineraries to avoid the storm, which made landfall five miles (8 kilometers) east of the capital, Kingston. Flash floods and mudslides were a threat for this debt-shackled tropical island of roughly 2.7 million inhabitants, which has a crumbling infrastructure and a number of sprawling shantytowns built on steep embankments and along gullies that sluice runoff water to the sea. In the hilly community of Kintyre, on the outskirts of Kingston, Sharon Gayle and a few of her neighbors expected to completely lose the town’s bridge over the Hope River, which washed away a section of the span just three weeks ago during a heavy downpour. The shell of a concrete home that collapsed into the river and killed two people several years ago still lies toppled on the sandy banks. “I’m really nervous. We’re trying not to show it in front of the children though,” the mother of three said, huddling under a sopping white towel as she stared at the rising river. –Chron 
One death in Jamaica: A man has been crushed to death by boulders as Hurricane Sandy sweeps across Jamaica, moving north to Cuba. The category one hurricane struck the island on Wednesday, unleashing heavy rains and winds of 125km/h (80mph). Schools and airports are closed, and a curfew has been imposed in major towns. A police officer was shot and injured by looters in the capital, Kingston. A hurricane warning has also been issued in Cuba, where Sandy is expected to make its next landfall. Moving at 22km/h, the hurricane struck Kingston on Wednesday evening and headed north, emerging off the island’s northern coast near the town of Port Antonio. Sandy has prompted a hurricane watch in the Bahamas, while Florida has been placed on tropical storm watch. “It’s a big storm and it’s going to grow in size after it leaves Cuba,” said forecaster Michael Brennan from the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC). –BBC
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This entry was posted in Civilizations unraveling, Climate unraveling, Cloudburst storms with flashflooding, Cyclone or Hurricane, Deluge from torrential rains, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Extreme Weather Event, Gale-force winds and gusts, Record rainfall, Strange high tides & freak waves, Time - Event Acceleration, Unprecedented Flooding. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Hurricane Sandy pounds Jamaica, then aims at Cuba – could morph into winter storm for U.S. northeast

  1. Irene C says:

    Latest report – 11 people killed in Cuba, including a 4 month old child. If the models hold up, and barring a miracle, this is going to be dangerous storm, worse than Irene or the “Perfect Storm” of 1991, because it will join/collide with an Arctic front. It’s being called Frankenstorm. I have been watching the reports when I’ve been able to and praying for everyone in the path of this storm.

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