Skip to comments.Hurricane Ivan Hammers Jamaica, Heads For Caymans
Posted on 09/11/2004 9:40:55 AM PDT by onyx
Hurricane Ivan Hammers Jamaica, Heads for Caymans Sat Sep 11, 2004 12:01 PM ET
By Horace Helps KINGSTON, Jamaica (Reuters) - Deadly Hurricane Ivan ripped Jamaica with powerful winds, torrential rains and huge waves on Saturday, tearing away houses and washing out roads before heading toward the tiny Cayman Islands and Cuba. With winds of 155 mph and a death toll already at 29 -- mostly on the devastated southeastern Caribbean island of Grenada -- Ivan gave Jamaica's 2.7 million people a small, last-minute reprieve when its center took a sudden westward turn.
That kept the most catastrophic winds off the south coast and out of the capital, Kingston. But the verdant, mountainous island still got hammered.
Police said they had controlled sporadic looting that broke out as the storm hit Jamaica. Robbers held up emergency workers at gunpoint and a doctor was shot.
Ivan ripped off roofs across the island and torrential rains triggered mudslides, washing out roads. The storm brought trees and poles crashing down in Kingston, where ravines overflowed and flooded streets.
Authorities said Jamaica's death toll rose to three as an elderly woman in Kingston and a young girl in St. Catherine's were killed when trees fell onto their homes. Earlier a man drowned as the storm approached. Ivan strengthened when it reached Jamaica with winds of 155 mph, just short of qualifying as a rare, top-level Category 5 hurricane, capable of catastrophic damage.
The storm remained on course to hit the Cayman Islands, a wealthy British colony northwest of Jamaica, and Cuba. It also threatens Florida with its third big hurricane strike in a month, after Charley and Frances.
Evacuations were under way in the Florida Keys, where officials ordered tourists and the 80,000 residents out of the 100-mile-(160-km-)long island chain.
Facing one of nature's worst storms, Jamaica caught a break. Just 30-40 miles off shore and drawing a bead on Kingston, Ivan's center suddenly headed west for a few hours, avoiding a direct hit on the capital, where tens of thousands of people live in flimsy shanties in the slums.
"It wobbled and it spared Jamaica," National Hurricane Center meteorologist Jennifer Pralgo said. "It kept the worst of the storm offshore but they did get hurricane-force winds and there are reports of serious damage."
Forecasters had no immediate wind-speed measurements because many wind instruments were blown away, she said.
In the Cayman Islands, home to about 45,000 people and a key offshore financial center, authorities told coastal dwellers to flee battering waves and an 8-foot (2.4-meter) storm surge as Ivan's wobbly track put Grand Cayman, the largest of the territory's three islands, in greater danger. All three islands must therefore be prepared for the worst-case scenario," Donovan Ebanks, deputy chairman of the National Hurricane Committee, said. At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), Ivan's center was about 30 miles southwest of the western tip of Jamaica at latitude 17.9 north and longitude 78.7 west, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. It was drifting westward but forecasters expected it to take up a west-northwest at about 8 mph. Ivan's sustained winds weakened slightly, to 145 mph early on Saturday.
DEATHS ACROSS CARIBBEAN
The International Federation of the Red Cross estimated 60,000 of Grenada's 90,000 people are homeless, according to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency. The island has remained without power or water and under a dusk-to-dawn curfew since Ivan struck on Tuesday.
In addition to 17 deaths in Grenada and three in Jamaica, four people died in Venezuela, four in the Dominican Republic and one in Tobago.
Jamaica - three deaths.
I'm surprised there aren't more. I did hear that Ivan turn a little turn last night and I suppose that's why.
I'll pray she stays safe. We've stayed at East End before, lovely place.
Cayman Islands are wonderful btw.
Thank you so much.
She's had to leave her house
and go to a shielded on all sides
condo with her children and their pets.
Yeah, I love all the Carribean Islands.
Praying for her and her family and friends!
Not just a little, Ivan made a 500 mile b-line for Jamaica and then took a 45 degree turn just 50 miles out. It kept up the new westward direction for about 75 miles, just enough that the eye wall totally missed the island, and then resumed course to the NW.
Hurricane Center says they have no explanation.
Underneath are the Everlasting Arms.
Thank you both.
I already told her my FRiends were praying.
Main reason for low death toll so far is Ivan is still hammering Jamaica and many areas are still inacessible.
At this point there were only 3 confirmed Deaths in Grenada too....that eventually was multiplied by x10.
Entire communities in Jamaica have been flattened; Jamaica wasn't "missed" despite the center of the eye crossing over the Island.
err, center of the eye NOT crossing over the island...
Heard from my daughter.
Grand Cayman is closed for business.
Nary a car on the road.
Gas stations are shut.
They are awaiting Ivan's arrival,
now scheduled for 8:00PM CDT.
It is getting windy right now.
Prayers for your daughter on Grand Cayman. She and her family will be fine.
Your daughter lives in heaven. I pray that she remains safe and that the island is still heavenly after the storm moves through. At least they have stronger buildings and infrastructure there than Jamaica and Grenada, so damage might not be catastrophic.
Love your tagline!
Thanks for your prayers and good thoughts.
Ivan seems to be moving slowly, which means
"he" can change direction...
We all continue to pray. Ivan was just upgraded to Cat 5 with winds of 165 mph. Pressure at 914 mb. Looks to be moving mostly west.
Evidently large hurricanes 'feel' coastlines and mountains. I guess they avoide mountains that could minimize them, in the same way that they will seek out warmer water, like when Charley went towards Port Choarlotte instead of continuing to Tampa.
Those are beautiful islands, I've been there twice (snorkeling with sting rays, of course!) I hope your daughter stays safe.
Ivan has been blamed for the deaths of 34 people in Grenada, five in Jamaica, five in Venezuela, one in Tobago, one in Barbados, and four youngsters in the Dominican Republic.
Several folks here on FR posted some very passionate prayers for the people in Jamaica last evening. Looking at the sudden and miraculous diversion of Ivan from the island, my days of scoffing at such things are over.
Think I'll say a prayer instead.
Can't any of these hurricaines ever take a side trip through Castro's military and government installations (while missing Guantanamo, of course)?
Hurricanes don't move towards warmer water. Actually, due to something called the "Beta Effect" related to Coriolis, they generally keep getting more northwards, thus hurricanes, if anything head towards COLDER water, on average, though it's not because they're attracted by Colder water; the Beta effect simply moves them northwards.
Ok, so what happens if the eye goes directly over Grand Cayman as a Cat 5?
We snorkeled with the stingrays, too. On our second stop there, (both times on cruises) the water was too rough to do it again. Now I fear the Caymans will be so badly damaged it will take years for them to recover. It is one of the most beautiful places we've ever been.
I hope the Caymans won't be too badly damaged. The other stops on our two cruises were okay, but the Caymans were the reason I went a second time.
You know, a few years ago we got some junk mail from some Christain organization. It had type written pages about some hurrican that hit in the Carribean and how it was sent to destroy the evil non Christians that lived there.
It was one of the most disgusting propaganda pieces I'd seen. Sometimes, I wish I had kept it and scanned it, for those that claim such things. Wonder what their thoughts are when it is their area that gets hit?
The wind has picked up on the island
and they're getting a little rain right now.
Ivan is expected shortly after midnite.
Well, this one might. :)
Did anyone see the segement just on
What did Fox report?