LIVE UPDATES: HURRICANE MATTHEW

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October 03, 2016

Follow us for the latest news on Hurricane Matthew as it approaches the Bahamas. . .

4.45pm: As Hurricane Matthew approaches the Bahamas on Wednesday afternoon into Thursday, outer rain bands and wind gusts of 40mph may begin to impact Nassau as early as noon on Wednesday, according to an Accuweather Skyguard Weather Alert prepared for The Tribune.

"The heaviest and most prolonged rain is likely overnight Wednesday into Thursday. Rain will total eight to 12 inches, with a 20 per cent chance of 15 inches," Accuweather said. "This will lead to dangerous flash flooding. Sustained hurricane-force winds of 90-110mph are expected to begin around 12.30am Thursday with maximum gusts of 110-130mph.

"Storm surge of 12-16 feet is likely early Thursday. This is a life-threatening hurricane. Flooding rain, hurricane force winds and storm surge will lead to widespread property damage and power outages. Conditions will improve Thursday night, as Matthew moves out of the area."

AccuWeather meteorologists said they would issue updates to this alert - which ends on Friday at 4am, as needed.

12.45pm: LYNDEN Pindling International Airport (LPIA) is operating as normal on Tuesday but will now close at 11am on Wednesday, the Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) has announced after a meeting with its airport stakeholders and the Bahamas Meteorological Department.

"The travelling public is encouraged to contact their respective airlines for flight updates," a statement from NAD read. "A listing of all airlines and their contacts can be found on LPIA’s website at www.nassaulpia.com. The public is further advised to listen for public announcements following the storm regarding when airport operations will resume."

11.45am: ALL Government offices in New Providence and Grand Bahama will be closed as of 3pm on Tuesday until further notice.

The Cabinet Office also advised Bahamians throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to continue with their hurricane preparations and to observe all National Advisories/Alerts/Watches/Warnings issued by the National Emergency Management Agency, the Bahamas Department of Meteorology and other essential Government Ministries/Corporations/Agencies and Departments.

10am: AIRPORTS in the southern and central islands of the Bahamas are closing on Tuesday, the Department of Civil Aviation in conjunction with the Airport Authority have advised. The closures and timings announced are:

Matthew Town, Inagua – 7am

Duncan Town, Ragged Island – 10am

Spring Point, Acklins – 2pm

Colonel Hill, Crooked Island – 4pm

Arbraham’s Bay, Mayaguana – 4pm

Deadman’s Cay, Long Island – 6pm

Samana Cay – 10pm

The Department of Civil Aviation and the Airport Authority will advise the public of any changes to these times, as necessary. People are also requested to listen carefully for additional airport closures throughout the week, and for airport re-openings.

9.30am: A Hurricane Warning is now in effect for the entire Bahamas, the Department of Meteorology has announced, as Hurricane Matthew, a "dangerous" category 4 storm, prepares to make landfall in Haiti on Tuesday.

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected in the islands within 36 hours. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

At 5am, the centre of Matthew was about 200 miles south west of Cap Haitien, Haiti, 165 miles from the eastern tip of Cuba, 225 miles south south west of Mathew Town, Inagua, 315 miles south south east of Duncan Town, Ragged Island, 300 miles south of Salina Point, Acklins, and 536 miles south south east of Nassau.

Matthew is moving north near 9mph and is expected to continue in similar fashion during Tuesday before a turn north north west is expected by Wednesday followed by a north west turn on Wednesday night.

On the forecast track, Matthew will move over portions of the south east and central Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday and approach the north west Bahamas on Wednesday night.

Maximum sustained winds are 145mph with higher gusts. Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through at least Wednesday night.

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the centre and tropical storm force winds outward up to 185 miles.

Residents are advised to rush to complete preparations for the onset of hurricane conditions, which should begin to affect Inagua by noon on Tuesday and spread into Ragged Island, Acklins, Crooked Island, Mayaguana and Long Island by Tuesday night.

Extensive to severe flooding can be expected as Matthew is forecast to produce rainfall amounts of eight to 12 inches over the south east Bahamas with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches. The combination of a dangerous storm surge and large and destructive waves could raise water levels by as much as 10 to 15 feet above normal tide in the Bahamas

Small craft operators throughout the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands should remain in port and seek safe harbour for their vessels and ensure they are safely secured.

Tuesday 9.30am: THE College of the Bahamas Oakes Field and Grosvenor Close campuses in New Providence and the Northern Bahamas Campus in East Grand Bahama are operating normally on Tuesday but will be closed on Wednesday, when classes will be suspended. The closure includes the Harry C Moore Library and Information Centre and Chapter One Bookstore.

Gerace Research Centre in San Salvador will be activated as a hurricane shelter from Tuesday. Following the passage of Hurricane Matthew and after the National Emergency Management Agency has issued the official “all clear”, a thorough assessment will be conducted of all College facilities and a subsequent notice will be issued regarding the resumption of operations and classes at the respective campuses.

Administrators, faculty, staff and students are asked to take every precaution to protect themselves, their families and their property and to closely monitor all official COB communication channels (website – www.cob.edu.bs, emails and social media) as well as the national news media for announcements and updates related to contingencies and operations at COB.

10.30pm: THE College of the Bahamas Oakes Field and Grosvenor Close campuses in New Providence and the Northern Bahamas Campus in East Grand Bahama will be closed on Wednesday. Operations and classes will be suspended. The closure includes the Harry C Moore Library and Information Centre and Chapter One Bookstore.

Gerace Research Centre in San Salvador will be activated as a hurricane shelter from Tuesday.  Following the passage of Hurricane Matthew and after the National Emergency Management Agency has issued the official “all clear”, a thorough assessment will be conducted of all College facilities and a subsequent notice will be issued regarding the resumption of operations and classes at the respective campuses.

Administrators, faculty, staff and students are asked to take every precaution to protect themselves, their families and their property and to closely monitor all official COB communication channels (website – www.cob.edu.bs, emails and social media) as well as the national news media for announcements and updates related to contingencies and operations at COB.

8.45pm: ALL schools in the northwest Bahamas will be closed on Wednesday as a result of Hurricane Matthew, the Ministry of Education has announced.

Islands in the northwest include Abaco, Andros, the Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama and New Providence. No staff or students should report to school on Wednesday.

The ministry said that further updates and notifications on the reopening of schools will be provided as soon as the “all clear” is given by authorities.

Schools in the southeast and central Bahamas will remain closed until further notice. This includes Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins, Ragged Island, Long Island, Cat Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador and Exuma.

The ministry urged residents to stay informed by visiting its social media platforms: Facebook - Ministry of Education, Bahamas; Twitter: BahamasMoest and Instagram: ministryofeducationbahamas.

The ministry added that there are individuals falsifying documents regarding school closures. As a result all official announcements will be made on the above-named platforms.

6.45pm: THE United States Embassy in Nassau will be closed for routine consular services for three days from Wednesday through Friday due to the anticipated effects of Hurricane Matthew on the Bahamas.

The Consular Section will only offer emergency American Citizen Services during that time.

The Embassy said individuals who had non-immigrant visa appointments scheduled for these days can reschedule their appointments by visiting the appointment scheduling website at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-jm/niv.

Passport applicants can reschedule their appointments through https://evisaforms.state.gov/acs/default.asp?postcode=NSS&appcode=1

6.30pm: THE National Insurance Board offices in Acklins, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Inagua, Long Island, Mayaguana and San Salvador will be closed until further notice due to the projected passage of Hurricane Matthew through the Family Islands.

6.30pm: BANK of the Bahamas branches in Cat Island, Exuma and San Salvador will close at 1pm on Tuesday until further notice due to the threat of Hurricane Matthew. The bank’s Inagua branch closed after a half day on Monday.

6pm: THE second annual Run for Pompey, set for Georgetown, Exuma on Saturday, has been postponed due to the expected passing of Hurricane Matthew this week.

Jeff Todd, race founder and Director of Communications for GIV Bahamas, said: “Our first thought is with the people of the Bahamas, many of whom are still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Joaquin last year. Once Matthew has passed, we will assess and then announce a new date but we are hoping that it will be very soon, as early as later this month or in November.”

Held for the first time last year, the Run for Pompey attracted nearly 200 participants, including many local schoolchildren.

For further updates or to register, check www.runforpompey.com.

5.30pm: THE Lynden Pindling International Airport will close at 2pm on Wednesday as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

According to a statement from Bahamasair, the national flag carrier, the Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) announced the impending closure.

As a result of this closure Bahamasair will operate as following:

Tuesday October 4, flight 377 to San Salvador will operate at 11am.

There will be no flights to San Salvador on Wednesday October 5.

On Wednesday, all morning flights to Florida will operate as scheduled.

Flight 329 to Freeport, Grand Bahama will operate at 9am while flight 103 to Ft Lauderdale will operate at 10.30am.

Persons affected as a result of Hurricane Matthew to and from these destinations can contact the Reservations Department to make alternate travel plans, the airline said.

Passengers will be accommodated without a change of itinerary fee.

Resumption of service to the Family Islands and Florida is predicated on the all clear being given by the respective agencies. A further update will be provided - via radio and also posted to Bahamasair.com - as new information becomes available, the airline said.

• The new tracking map from Hurricane Watch Net (main image) shows Hurricane Matthew's projected path shifting to the west - close to or over New Providence.

1.00pm: A hurricane warning remains in effect on Monday for the south eastern islands of the Bahamas - Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins, Ragged Island, Long Cay and Samana Cay - and Turks and Caicos Islands. Residents are advised to complete preparations as soon as possible as the powerful category 4 storm could begin to impact the southern islands from Tuesday morning.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Long Island, Cat Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador and the Exumas. A hurricane alert is in place for Eleuthera, New Providence, Andros, the Berry Islands, Bimini, Grand Bahama and Abaco.

At 11am on Monday, the Bahamas Department of Meteorology reported that the centre of Hurricane Matthew was about 230 miles south sout east of Kingston, Jamaica, 290 miles south west of Port Au Prince, Haiti, 376 miles south south west of Mathew Town, Inagua, 451 miles south of Duncan Town, Ragged Island, and 665 miles south south east of New Providence.

It is moving north at about 6mph and an increase in speed is expected on Monday night. On the forecast track, the centre of Matthew will approach south western Haiti tonight, move near eastern Cuba late on Tuesday and move near or over portions of the south east and central Bahamas on Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 140mph with higher gusts. Hurricane force winds extend outwards up to 35 miles from the centre and tropical storm force winds extend out to 185 miles.

Monday 11am: Two fishermen are reported to have died in south western Haiti in rough water churned up by the approaching Hurricane Matthew.

The director of Haiti's Civil Protection Agency, Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste, says a boat carrying one of the men capsized early on Monday off the tiny fishing town of Saint Jean du Sud as he was trying to bring his wooden skiff to shore. The body of the other was recovered a short time later off the nearby town of Aquin after he apparently drowned.

Both towns are near the southwestern coastal city of Les Cayes. The centre of Hurricane Matthew is expected to pass near or over south western Haiti on Tuesday, but the area is already experiencing rain from the outer bands of the storm.

The deaths of the two fishermen in Haiti brings the total death toll from Hurricane Matthew to at least four.

9.30pm:The Royal Bahamas Defence Force has cancelled all vacation for its members as of Monday. A statement from Commander Defence Force (Acting) Captain Tellis Bethel on Sunday night told all non-duty personnel to report to Coral Harbour Base at 8.40am.

“This includes persons who are not on duty at the various outpost such as Harbour Patrol Unit, Port Security Unit, the Airwing Base and Military Police and Force Protection Unit. Personnel are to come prepared for deployment to Family Islands as directed,” the statement read.

8.00pm: Public schools in the South Eastern Bahamas will be closed tomorrow until further notice. The Ministry of Education has released the following statement on the matter:

“After being advised by officials from the meteorological office, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology wishes to advise that PUBLIC SCHOOLS in the SOUTH EASTERN Bahamas will CLOSE TOMORROW, MONDAY OCTOBER 3rd UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

These islands include:

MAYAGUANA, INAGUA, CROOKED ISLAND, ACKLINS, RAGGED ISLAND, LONG CAY and SAMANA CAY.

Schools in the CENTRAL BAHAMAS will close on TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4th.

These islands include:

LONG ISLAND, CAT ISLAND, RUM CAY, SAN SALVADOR and EXUMA.

The next update will be issued tomorrow October 3rd before 5pm. We will keep you informed through our official website (ministryofeducationbahamas.com) and the MOEST social media platforms:

Facebook: Ministry of Education, Bahamas

Twitter: BahamasMoest

& Instagram: ministryofeducationbahamas

These should be your first points of reference as it may prove difficult to place radio announcements in a timely fashion.

Continue to stay safe in the upcoming days and ensure that seasonal hurricane precautions have been addressed.”

2.25pm: The list of Bahamas hurricane shelters for the 2016 storm season can be found HERE.

12.30pm: BAHAMASAIR is suspending services to the southern islands of the Bahamas from Tuesday due to the approach of Hurricane Matthew.


Happy Bahamian students back at Lynden Pindling International Airport on Saturday night after being brought home by Bahamasair from Jamaica, which is threatened by Hurricane Matthew. Photo: Eric Rose/BIS

• BAHAMIAN students in Jamaica threatened by the approaching Hurricane Matthew arrived in Nassau late on Saturday night on a Bahamasair flight organised in conjunction with the government.

• A HURRICANE Watch is in effect for the south east Bahamas, including Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins, Ragged Island, Long Cay, Samana Cay, and the Turks and Caicos Islands from Sunday morning.

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions could affect the alerted islands within 48 hours, the Bahamas Department of Meteorology said.

A Hurricane Alert remains in place for the north west and central Bahamas, including Long Island, Cat Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, the Exumas, Eleuthera, New Providence, Andros the Berry Islands, Bimini, Grand Bahama and Abaco.

At 8am on Sunday, Matthew - a category 4 hurricane - was centred about 315 miles south south west of Port Au Prince, 475 miles south of Inagua and 785 miles south south east of Nassau. With maximum sustained winds of 150mph, Matthew was forecast to remain a powerful hurricane through Monday night.

Click here to read more at The Tribune

News date : 10/03/2016    Category : Caribbean News, Tribune Stories

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