#TrackingMatthew: Bahamas preparing for passage of Hurricane Matthew

Monday, October 03, 2016

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NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC) — The Bahamas were preparing for the passage of Hurricane Matthew, closing schools and the national airline, Bahamasair suspending flights to the southern islands.

In addition, the Bahamian authorities have organised for more than 100 students studying in Jamaica to be repatriated.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that the storm, one of the strongest in the Atlantic since 2007, is expected to affect the Bahamas on Tuesday.

It said that the hurricane, which at 8.00 am (local time) was located 220 miles south east of Kingston, Jamaica and 280 miles south west of Port au Prince in Haiti, had maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (mph).

It said that a hurricane warning is in effect for Jamaica, Haiti, provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma, and Las Tunas, south-eastern Bahamas, including the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, and Ragged Island.

The NHC urged people in the Bahamas should monitor the progress of Matthew, which is “a dangerous category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

“Tropical storm conditions are expected to reach the south-eastern Bahamas early Tuesday with hurricane conditions expected by late Tuesday. Hurricane conditions are possible in the hurricane watch areas by Tuesday night with tropical storm conditions possible on Tuesday,” the NHC added.

Matthew is expected to produce total rain accumulations of eight to 12 inches over the south-eastern Bahamas, with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) here has released the official list of hurricane shelters and has implemented an emergency warning system to better prepare and inform the public about a disaster about to impact the country.

NEMA said it is following the “Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which provide instructions for activation and the operations of the NEOC, amongst other things”.

Meanwhile, Bahamasair said due to the impending approach of Hurricane Matthew, all services to the southern islands will be suspended effective Tuesday.

“Persons affected as a result of Hurricane Matthew to and from these destinations can contact our Reservations department to make alternate travel plans. Passengers will be accommodated without a change of itinerary fee,” the airline said.

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