Matthew claims one in St Vin­cent

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

ORANJESTAD (AP): TROP­I­CAL STORM Matthew was near­ing hurricane strength yes­ter­day as it moved to­wards the is­lands of Aruba, Bon­aire and Cu­raçao in the south­ern Caribbean.

The so-called “ABC is­lands” of the Dutch Caribbean are out­side the hurricane belt and are usu­ally spared from trop­i­cal storms, mak­ing Matthew a rare event for the area. A trop­i­cal storm watch was in ef­fect for all three places.

The Aruba weather ser­vice said the storm was ex­pected to pass about 125 miles (200 kilo­me­tres) north of the is­land.

Matthew passed over the east­ern Caribbean on Wed­nes­day, caus­ing at least one death. Of­fi­cials in St Vin­cent say a 16-year-old boy was crushed by a boul­der as he tried to clear a blocked drain.

At 11 a.m. the storm had max­i­mum sus­tained winds of 70 mph (110 kph) and was cen­tred 225 miles (360 kilo­me­tre’s) north­east of Cu­ra­cao and 290 miles (465 kilo­me­tre’s) south of Puerto Rico, ac­cord­ing to the US Na­tional Hurricane Cen­ter in Mi­ami.

Trop­i­cal storm-force winds ex­tended out for 205 miles (335 kilo­me­tres). It was fore­cast to be­come a hurricane later Thurs­day, then turn to the north and head to­wards Ja­maica, Cuba and Haiti.

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