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Message: Sandy is expected to become a hurricane before reaching Jamaica today. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Jamaica and a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Haiti. The central and northwestern Bahamas are under Tropical Storm Warning and a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the south-Eastern Bahamas (as of 8.00 a.m. at October 24th, 2012).

 

THE SITUATION:

At 8.00 a.m. the center of Tropical Storm Sandy was located near latitude 16.6 North and longitude 76.9 West or about 95 miles South of Kingston, Jamaica. Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph with higher gusts. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles from the center. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours and Sandy is expected to become a hurricane before it reaches Jamaica. The system is moving toward the north near 14 mph and this general motion is expected to continue through Thursday.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Jamaica and a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Haiti. The central and North-Western Bahamas are under Storm Warning and a Tropical Storm Watch in effect for the South-Eastern Bahamas.

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere in the warning area within 24 to 36 hours. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

PROGNOSIS:
According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, on the forecast track, Tropical Storm conditions should reach Jamaica during the morning and Hurricane conditions are expected by this afternoon. The eye of the system is expected to pass near Kingston during mid-afternoon. Eastern parishes are expected to experience hurricane-force winds from the South while central and western parishes will feel northerly winds of slightly lower intensity.

Tropical Storm conditions are expected in portions of Haiti by this afternoon. Additionally, Tropical Storm conditions are expected in Central Bahamas by early Thursday and North-Western Bahamas by Thursday afternoon.

Sandy is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of six (6) to twelve inches across Jamaica with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches possible. These rains may produce life threatening flash floods and mud slides, especially in areas of mountainous terrain. Storm surges may raise water levels by as much as one to three feet above normal tide levels along the Southern and Eastern coasts of Jamaica. In the Bahamas, three to five inches of rainfall are expected with isolated maximum amounts of five inches. Within the tropical storm warning areas of the Bahamas storms surges will raise water levels by as much as four to seven feet above normal tide levels. The surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves.

NATIONAL ACTIONS:

Jamaica

  • The National Emergency Operations Centre has been operationalized as of 10 p.m. Tuesday October 23rd .
  • Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for communities along the Southern coastline, which could be impacted by storm surges with surge heights of approximately three (3) to six (6) feet.
  • Residents in low-lying areas along the coastline and other vulnerable areas have been urged to evacuate.
  • Communities have been advised of the likely hazards that may affect them.
  • Shelter listings have been issued and residents have been advised of the shelters that have been activated and that are now available for occupancy.
  • All small craft operators have been advised to remain in safe harbour until all warning messages have been lifted and wind and sea conditions have returned to normal.
  • The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) has been issuing press releases to keep the public informed and advising them on preparatory action to take.

Closures:

  • Sangsters International Airport closed at 8 a.m. today. Other international and domestic airports will remain closed until Thursday, October 25th.
  • Bog Walk George is closed until further notice.
  • As conditions deteriorate other routes may also be closed.

Haiti

  • The Department of Civil Protection (CPD) has mobilized resources at the central level and throughout the country to provide assistance as warranted.
  • The National Meteorological Centre (NMC), together with the Permanent Secretariat of Risk Management and Disaster (SPGRD) and the Department of Civil Protection (DPC) continue to urge residents to remain vigilant and take necessary precautionary actions.
  • The Technical Director of the National Centre of National Emergency Operations (COUN) will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. today to provide updates on the weather system and to brief the press on precautionary actions to preserve life and property.
  • Public advisories have been circulated since yesterday urging residents in the threatened areas to take the necessary precautions.

Bahamas

  • The National Emergency Operations Centre is partially activated and is expected to be fully activated later today (October 24)
  • The National Disaster Committee will meet this morning to discuss the status of preparations by the various disaster response entities and will advise the Prime Minister on the situation and actions being taken.
  • Public advisories continue to be issued urging residents to be vigilant and to take the necessary precautionary actions.

REGIONAL ACTIONS:
The Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) has contacted the threatened states and stands ready to provide assistance as is required.
CDEMA will continue to monitor the system and provide updates as is necessary.

CONTACT DETAILS: The CDEMA CU 24-hour contact number 1(246) 425 0386

 

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