A tropical storm which formed Wednesday in the eastern Caribbean and lashed several islands with heavy wind and rain is expected to impact Jamaica on the weekend.
The storm was on track to pass through the Southern Caribbean for several days before heading north towards Eastern Jamaica on Saturday or Sunday as a hurricane. A release from the Meteorological Service Division noted that “this could be adjusted multiple times as we go through this week.”
While the Meteorological Service Division said it would not initiate bulletins until Thursday evening or Friday morning, it warned that the storm “is likely to be a significant threat with impact on the island likely to start on Sunday, October 2.”
A tropical storm warning was in effect for much of the southernmost islands of the Lesser Antilles, including Barbados, Dominica, St. Lucia. St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique.
Authorities closed the international airport in Barbados and officials in St. Lucia advised businesses to close for the day as the storm passed. There were no immediate reports of any injuries or major damage.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Matthew had sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph). It was expected to bring rainfall of 4-8 inches (up to 15 centimeters) to the northern Windward Islands and the southern portion of the Leeward Islands. The hurricane center warned that the heavy rain could trigger flash floods and mudslides.