The first death has been reported from what was Tropical Storm Matthew as it passed over St. Vincent on Wednesday (28 September). Matthew was upgraded to a hurricane Thursday, and forecasters continue to expect its westward trek to switch late Friday or early Saturday to a northerly path. The far western edge of the forecast cone includes the Sister Islands as places that could feel the storm’s effects.
The fatality on St. Vincent happened to a teenage boy who, against his mother’s wishes, tried to clear debris near their hillside home when a boulder rolled down and pinned him against a wall.
Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao were under a Tropical Storm Watch Thursday evening.
As of 4:00 p.m. Thursday, Hurricane Matthew was located at latitude 14.1 North, longitude 67.8 West, moving west at 17 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 185 miles from the storm’s center. Swells generated by Matthew are expected to affect portions of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola over the next few days.
Hazard Management Cayman Islands reminds all residents they should already by prepared for storms during this often-busy time of the season. People should have a three-day supply of non-perishable food stored as well as three gallons of water per person. People should also have a plan for where they will ride out a storm, especially those who live in areas most prone to storm surge who should know the location of their nearest shelter.
For more information, see their website at www.CaymanPrepared.gov.ky.