Hurricane Matthew Relentlessly Pounds The Bahamas


Hurricane Matthew’s strong winds have toppled trees and power lines. (Photo: Josh Morgerman/Twitter)

NASSAU, Bahamas, Thursday September 6, 2016
– Hurricane Matthew, which is a Category 4 hurricane again with winds near 140 miles per hour, is lashing Nassau, Bahamas, bringing down trees and power lines, according to emergency management authorities.

According to the Associated Press (AP), the head of the Bahamas National Emergency Management Authority said this morning that Nassau, which is the most populous island of New Providence in the central Bahamas, is receiving the full brunt of Hurricane Matthew.

“We are experiencing the brunt of the hurricane force winds now so we just have to wait and see how we fare over the next five of six hours,” Captain Stephen Russell told the AP.

Captain Russell said there were no immediate reports of significant flooding or casualties but many downed trees and power lines have been reported.

Authorities initiated a controlled shut down of electricity when winds reached 40 mph to protect the grid, reports The major tourist hotels are on generator power.

Winds have already gusted to 85 mph in Nassau today. Last night, a 119 mph sustained wind was clocked at Exuma International Airport. Sustained winds over 100 mph were also clocked at George Town, also on Exuma.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Perry Christie warned Bahamians to brace themselves for a “worst case scenario” as Hurricane Matthew barreled towards the island chain, according to Tribune 242.

Christie noted that country’s most populated city, New Providence, would get a direct hit from the powerful storm, and urged residents to evacuate southern coastlines on every island and move into the numerous shelters set up across the country.

“If you live on the southern coast of any islands you will be exposed to risk,” Christie said in a statement obtained by the Nassau Guardian. “Seriously consider now moving to higher grounds. Natural phenomena can be violently unpredictable.”

Evacuation orders were issued yesterday in Grand Bahamas for residents in West End, outlying settlements along the southern coast and in East Grand Bahama, also reports. Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau said only senior citizens with medical emergencies are to be brought to the Accident and Emergency department during the storm.

Government offices in New Providence and Grand Bahama were shut down Tuesday until further notice.

The storm has prompted a change in itineraries for several cruise ships bound for the Bahamas, according to Cruise Critic.

At 2 p.m. Hurricane Matthew was about 65 miles south-southeast of Nassau and moving towards the northwest at 14 miles per hour.

“This general motion is expected to continue today with a turn toward the north-northwest tonight or early Friday. On the forecast track, the eye of Matthew should be near or over Freeport in the Bahamas in the next few hours, and move close to or over the east coast of the Florida peninsula through Friday night,” the National Hurricane Centre in Miami said.

“Some additional strengthening is possible, and Matthew should remain a Category 4 hurricane while it approaches the Florida coast.” (Adapted from The Weather Channel)

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