Categorized | National News

Matthew Heads For The Bahamas

Meteorologists continue to keep a keen eye on Hurricane Matthew, a powerful Category 4 storm that is expected to storm through The Bahamas this week.


The National Emergency Management Unit issuing an alert yesterday said a hurricane watch remains in effect for the southeast Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos islands.


This includes the islands of Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins, Ragged Island, Long Cay, Samana Cay and the Turks and Caicos Islands.


A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions could affect the mentioned islands within 48 hours.


A hurricane alert remains in effect for the northwest and Central Bahamas.


This includes the islands of Long Island, Cat Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, the Exumas, Eleuthera, New Providence, Andros, the Berry Islands, Bimini, Grand Bahama and Abaco.


A hurricane alert means that hurricane conditions could affect the mentioned islands within 60 hours.


At 5:00 p.m. yesterday, the center of Hurricane Matthew was located near latitude 14.6 degrees north and longitude 74.8 degrees west or about 320 miles south-southwest of Port Au Prince Haiti, 270 miles south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, 444 miles south of Inagua and 740 miles south-southeast of New Providence.


Director of the National Emergency Management Unit Captain Stephen Russell said officials are remaining optimistic.


“Hopefully the strength of the storm is minimized much less by the time it reaches The Bahamas,” he said.


“However there is expected to be some tidal surges and we anticipate some 25 inches of rain. We’re hoping for the best and trying to get Bahamians to prepare as best as they can.”


As a precaution scores of Bahamian students studying in Jamaica were flown home on a flight chartered by the government, as to ensure their safety with Hurricane Matthew set to hit that island.


Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Fred Mitchell stated the government’s need to evacuate the students.


“Somewhere after 11:15 p.m. on Saturday night the students were met by the Prime Minster and the Deputy Prime Minister as well as other public officials. The Prime Minster spoke to the students and explained what the government’s position is in regards to wanting them to be safe and secure,” he said.


“The return flight will be available as soon as the all clear has been given in Jamaica.”


He acknowledged the contributions of the Honorary Consul in Jamaica, Alvita Knight, for marshaling the operation and said he had been in contact with Jamaican authorities throughout the day.

Early on Saturday, the ministry said it was informing parents of students studying in Jamaica, as well as the students themselves, that a Bahamas air flight would depart from Norman Manley International Airport, Kingston, on Saturday night.


The minster also dispelled rumors that there was a surplus of students thus allowing some persons to miss the flight and more flights were needed.


“We had received information that that there was a surplus in the number of people wanting to take the flight but it turns out that those people were not students.


“They were persons who were on the Caribbean Airlines flight to Nassau, so it wasn’t necessary to have another flight sent into Jamaica


Tramesha Carey, a 2nd year student studying Mathematics at Northern Carribean University in Jamaica was one of the students that was flown home and expressed her gratitude.


“It feels like a miracle to be home right now.


“It was a really long and drawn out day, a lot of us were from 6 am trying to figure out what to do, trying to contact the consulate about what provisions were being made


“I honestly didn’t think it was possible, I came to Eleuthera first thing this morning and I am extremely thankful that I do not have to experience this hurricane alone away from home.


“I’m with my family and that is the best thing that I could have asked for,” Ms. Carey said.


Mr. Mitchell added that students and parents alike should continue to monitor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for updated information.


Residents are also advised to listen and pay close attention to all alerts issued by the Bahamas Department of Meteorology.





Written by Jones Bahamas

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