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Matthew now a hurricane after leaving death and destruction in the Eastern Caribbean
Published on September 30, 2016 Email To Friend    Print Version

Hurricane Matthew five-day forecast track. NHC/NOAA graphic

By Caribbean News Now contributor

MIAMI, USA -- Tropical storm Matthew strengthened to hurricane force on Thursday after leaving one dead and causing widespread flooding and landslides as it slowly made its way across the Eastern Caribbean on Wednesday evening.

Landslide damage in St Vincent and the Grenadines
Officials in St Vincent and the Grenadines confirmed that a fourth form secondary school student was crushed by a boulder during Matthew’s passage. Barbados, Dominica and Saint Lucia also reported flooding from the hours of rainfall. There were reports of some damage to property from gusty winds and fallen trees, and several communities experienced cuts in their electricity and water services.

The prime minister of Curacao, Dr Bernhard Whiteman, announced in a press conference late Thursday that the general elections due to take place on Friday will be postponed until next week Wednesday, October 5. This decision was made after consulting with political parties and other stakeholders.

According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, at 5:00 pm EDT on Thursday, the centre of Matthew was located about 150 miles (240 km) north-northeast of Curacao, moving toward the west near 17 mph (28 km/h). A westward to west-southwestward motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days. Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is expected during the next 48 hours. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km).

A tropical storm watch is in effect for Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, and the Colombia/Venezuela border to Riohacha. Interests elsewhere along the coasts of Venezuela and Colombia, and in Jamaica, Hispaniola, and eastern Cuba should monitor the progress of Matthew.

Tropical storm conditions are possible in Bonaire, Curacao, and Aruba on Thursday night and Friday. Tropical storm conditions are possible over portions of the watch area in Colombia beginning Friday.

Rainfall associated with Matthew will continue to diminish across the Lesser Antilles during Thursday evening. Isolated additional rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches are possible over the southern Windward Islands. Rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches with isolated higher amounts are expected over Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao through Saturday.

Swells generated by Matthew are expected to affect portions of the coasts of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Venezuela, and Colombia during the next few days. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.


There were reports of fallen trees; five damaged houses; nine downed utility poles; and a number of isolated power outages across the island in a number of parishes, along with reports of flooding in some areas.

Schools were due to remain closed on Thursday.



Many communities in Dominica were without power on Thursday morning, some of them since Wednesday afternoon after the passage of Tropical Storm Matthew resulted in numerous electrical poles and high voltage power lines being downed. Utility crews were actively working to restore service to affected areas.

Businesses are open and clean-up efforts are ongoing. Island accommodations and other tourism establishments weathered the storm with little to no disruptions to normal operations and are open to receive visitors.

The Douglas – Charles Airport has been reopened and ferry services are expected to resume on Friday. Travellers are advised to contact their respective service providers or travel agents to confirm travel status.

Saint Lucia


The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) reported flooding and minor damages as a result of Tropical Storm Matthew.

According to NEMO, there were power outages in several communities across the island, and all quadrants of Saint Lucia reported flooding.

Two people were trapped by flooding, but were able to make their way out after the waters receded. A house at in Dennery had its roof partially blown off.

There was no reported loss of life as a result of the passage of the storm; however, some temporary disruption to electricity and water supplies as well as temporary blockages to some key roads and bridges was reported. The agriculture sector sustained moderate damage, with officials currently engaged in initial assessments.

According to the Saint Lucia Tourist Board, hotel partners are reporting minimal to no significant damages to the island’s hotel plant with all properties fully operational.

Both the George F.L Airport and the Hewanorra International Airport reopened on Thursday and most flights have resumed service into the destination. Travelers are advised to contact their respective airlines directly for available service into and out of Saint Lucia.
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Josefina JOSEPHA:

Politically speaking there is:
"The Boy That Cried Wolf Syndrome"!
"The Noah's Ark Complex" and,
The Shakespearean Theme; "Much ado about Nothing".

According to ( on September 28th , which I am lead to believe that you also wrote reported essentially the facts. However; what was NOAA correspondence as related to the Curacao situation?

You presented a detail of a snap shot in time for a second, but life goes on in a continuum. The media has a job to inform and be on top of issues ensuring government's transparency not sensationalism. When portions of this article is read especially related to Curacao, it paints a picture of a propagandist tool attempting to justify the actions and management of a government.

Anyone that had 1/8th the capacity to process information and outside of the media cycle would have seen the spin about 1 week ago when there were rumors of a postponement of the elections. The ruling government exercising control and power for as long as possible. In 6 hours from now there would have been a new government in power with a plan and mission approved by the will and wishes of the majority of the people of Curacao. The sad thing was that there was never any imminent danger that Curacao was in and when I speak or write, the evidence is no more than a phone call away, a text message or email away.

The most scared machinery of Democracy was violated today in Curacao and sad to say the media failed the people of Curacao because they continue to:

1.) Dis-empower the wishes of the people to demand ACCOUNTABILITY to the electorate, the most important stakeholders and the only shareholders in the fate or destiny of Curacao, and

2.) Dis-enchant the will of the people of Curacao to demand TRANSPARENCY of The Cabinet of Ministries to the electorate, the citizens of this country, the only true invested shareholders of Curacao. Furthermore to demand TRANSPARENCY from Parliament SVC-2, of which 9 of the 13 political leaders are direct SVC-2 members of Parliament that unanimously voted in favor of the postponement. The remaining 4 of 13 political leaders had 2 who were former members of the Cabinet of Ministers, as a Prime Minister & a former SVC-2 MP, and the other a former Minister of education - both from the same political party at that time, and the other half of the 4 non-incumbent political leaders, had no experience in political savy, and manipulation so apparently they just got sucked in by the political pressure. This definitely would have been the time for either of the 2 to stand up for the people of Curacao and demand democracy, but the records showed that they did not and they did nothing. In the Gospel according to Matthew 25:14-30, where it talks about those whom when given little and entrusted with it and they do nothing with it according to the bible, they lose it all and thrown into the darkness; that's the bible, the word of God inspired by the Holy Spirit and written by man. (like Kanye West said it in his song "Mercy", the chorus that says "there will be a weeping and moaning and a gnashing of the teeth.." - PARENTAL ADVISORY NOTED) {That was a play on satirical irony}.

Matthew 25: 24-30
24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’


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