For the first time since 2007 (Hurricane Dean), Jamaica was hit by a hurricane as Sandy made landfall in the island on Wednesday, with the eye of the storm hitting seven miles of Kingston at approximately 3 p.m. local time. The storm, rated at a Category 1, headed in a northerly direction with sustained winds of about 130 km (80 mph).
Police say that one casualty was suffered at the hands of Hurricane Sandy as 74-year-oldCleveland Scott was hit by a boulder that fell from a hillside as he did chores in his Kingston home. The man reportedly fell onto a piece of steel in his home and sustained serious injuries/ He was rushed to hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.
Up until last night, 70% of Jamaica Public Service (JPS) customers were without light while several utility poles were flattened across Kingston while others were downed across Portland, St. James, Westmoreland, Hanover, St. Ann, St. Mary and St. Thomas.
Meanwhile, over 1,050 people were situated in 67 shelters across the island while there were cases in St. Andrew and St. Thomas where people were either trapped or forced to evacuate their homes given the height or rainfall that descended on their communities.
However, as of this morning, Hurricane Sandy no longer poses a threat to Jamaica as the storm has now made landfall in Cuba. As a result, a hurricane warning for the island was lifted by local government officials, with rainfall and some wind expected to continue throughout the island in the coming days.
Furthermore, law enforcement officials have lifted curfews after they were enforced across all town centers and several communities during Sandy’s passage.
Hurricane Sandy could strengthen into a Category 2 storm as it now packs sustained winds of 165 km/h as it blasts throughout eastern Cuba and could head for the Bahamas and Florida later this week.