WEATHER UPDATE! Hurricane Matthew heads for Jamaica packing strong winds

WEATHER UPDATE! Hurricane Matthew heads for Jamaica packing strong winds


Hurricane Matthew has weakened slightly as it moves towards Jamaica, but is still packing winds of up to 250km/h (155mph), powerful enough to wreck houses, forecasters say.

It’s now a category four storm, the US National Hurricane Center says, after before reaching the top class five on a scale of intensity.

MPs are expected to discuss trainings. The storm may make landfall.

The southern shore of Jamaica is expected to be hit first.

The capital, Kingston, is found in the area, as is the nation’s only oil refinery.

Officials have warned the high winds could additionally batter the island’s principal tourist areas including Montego Bay in the north.

“We expect that the hurricane does not hit us, but if it does hit us, we are trying our very best to ensure that we’re in the most effective place,” Robert Morgan said.

Local emergency teams in addition to the police and military are on standby, while shelters are being set up through the island, Mr Morgan said.

As the storm approaches many Jamaicans are stocking up on food and water.

Tropical storm warnings also have been issued for parts of coastal Colombia and Haiti over the weekend.

Haitian authorities say the priority is always to shield the southern isles of the nation, whose inhabitants they’ve described as “first at risk”, in accordance with AFP news agency.

Forecasters said up to 38cm (15 inches) of rain could drop across Jamaica and on southern Haiti.

The last major storm in the region was Hurricane Sandy in 2012, while Jamaica was damaged by Hurricane Gilbert in 1988.

Matthew could function as the strongest storm to strike on the island since records began, meteorologist Eric Holthaus said on Twitter.