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Ivan Update
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Posted by:Sep 12th 2004, 07:06:02 pm
Fig Tree News TeamHurrican Ivan Hits Caymans Hard, Aims for Cuba

5:00p EST Sunday

By Alan Markoff

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (Reuters) - Hurricane Ivan battered the Cayman Islands with roaring winds and surging seas on Sunday and took aim at Cuba and the United States after cutting a deadly path through the Caribbean.

A monster storm packing 150-mph winds, Ivan tore off roofs, produced waves the size of two-story buildings and submerged an airport runway as it roared past Grand Cayman -- the largest of the three islands that make up the wealthy British territory of 45,000 people.

Panicked residents climbed on kitchen counters to escape floodwaters that overwhelmed their houses. Some said the winds sounded like a locomotive train.

"They pretty much got the worst of it," said Michael Formosa, meteorologist at the U.S. National Hurricane Center (news - web sites), after the hurricane's eye passed close to Grand Cayman.

On one of the three islands, tiny Cayman Brac, some residents packed into caves for shelter.

Ivan killed at least 16 people in Jamaica and caused heavy flooding and mudslides when it brushed past on Friday night and Saturday. But the island of 2.7 million people appeared to have been spared the total havoc wrought on Grenada last week.

So far, at least 44 people have been killed in the storm's rampage through the Caribbean.

Ivan was headed for tobacco-growing regions of western Cuba on Monday and then toward the United States, where it could inflict a third hurricane hit on Florida in a month.

At least 40 roads in Jamaica were blocked by fallen trees, utility poles, flooding or landslides, and more than 11,000 people were gathered in hundreds of shelters. Looting, which erupted as the storm hit, appeared to be under control, the island's disaster and emergency management service said.

CUBA FEARS IVAN

Cuba, with a population of 11 million, evacuated 350,000 people from coastal areas and dangerous buildings and battened down for what could be the most powerful hurricane to hit the island in living memory.

But Ivan appeared set to bypass Havana, where residents are still cleaning up from Hurricane Charley's ravages last month.

While tobacco planting has not begun and last year's leaves are secure, Cuba feared the storm could devastate curing sheds badly damaged by hurricanes Isidore and Lili in 2002.

"We fear Ivan will demolish everything. Luckily we have not planted yet," said Carlos, son of Cuba's legendary tobacco grower Alejandro Robaina.

On Saturday, Ivan's top winds were reported at 165 mph. It was the sixth-strongest storm recorded in the Atlantic basin, according to the National Hurricane Center, with an intensity near that of Hurricane Mitch, which killed 10,000 people in Central America in 1998.

Ivan was downgraded to Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale overnight but it could strengthen again to a Category 5, the center said.

The storm's center was about 60 miles west of Grand Cayman at latitude 19.2 north and longitude 82.1 west and was moving west-northwest at 10 mph at 2 p.m. EDT.

Forecasters could not say exactly where Ivan would hit in the United States, but it appeared headed for the Florida Panhandle in the northwest of the state.

That would be a respite for the state's west coast still recovering from Hurricane Charley, which hit the southwest coast on Aug. 13. Florida was ravaged again by Hurricane Frances a week ago. The two storms between them caused $9.4 billion to $11.4 billion in insured damages.

Florida evacuated tourists and 80,000 residents from the 100-mile island chain of the Florida Keys. A tropical storm watch, meaning residents should expect storm conditions in 36 hours, was issued for the western end of the Keys from Seven Mile Bridge to the Dry Tortugas.

There were at least 19 confirmed deaths on Grenada, and the Red Cross estimated two-thirds of the spice island's population of 90,000 were left homeless when Ivan struck on Tuesday.

Jill St. John, a disaster preparedness officer for the Red Cross, said aid was pouring in from across the Caribbean. Many of those left homeless were living with friends and neighbors.

In addition to 19 confirmed deaths in Grenada and 16 in Jamaica, four people died in Venezuela, four in the Dominican Republic and one in Tobago.
Posted by:Sep 10th 2004, 11:41:36 pm
Fig Tree News TeamHurricane Ivan Slams Into Jamaica, Looting Erupts

51 minutes ago [11:00p EST]

By Horace Helps

KINGSTON, Jamaica (Reuters) - Hurricane Ivan roared into Jamaica with drenching rains and deadly winds on Friday and sporadic shooting erupted in the near-deserted streets of the capital as looters went on the prowl, robbing emergency workers at gunpoint.


Reuters Photo


AP Photo
Slideshow: Hurricanes & Tropical Storms

Jamaica Braces For Ivan
(Reuters Video)
Fla. Keys Evacuating, Peninsula Preps for Ivan
(AP Video)

Related Links
• Caribbean Satellite (Yahoo! Weather)
• Fla. Severe Weather Alerts (Yahoo! Weather)



Large trees and poles crashed down in Kingston, some hitting houses. Ravines running through the city overflowed and flooded streets.

"It's extremely windy. The whole island is without electricity," said Joseph Robinson, 45, from the British Caribbean territory of Turks and Caicos, as he took shelter in the lobby of a Kingston hotel. "It's going beyond manageable."

The hurricane, which has already killed 27 people, strengthened as it rampaged across the Caribbean. If it continues on its present path it could be the third big storm in a month to slam into Florida.

Half a million Jamaicans, over one-sixth of the population were urged to evacuate low-lying areas as Ivan approached.

In the Cayman Islands, a British territory west of Jamaica, authorities told coastal dwellers to flee battering waves and an 8-foot storm surge.

In the Florida Keys, long lines of tourists and residents streamed out of the 100-mile island chain as Floridians, already bruised by Hurricanes Charley and Frances in the past four weeks, wearily prepared for a possible third strike in an unusually busy Atlantic storm season.

In the immediate path of Ivan, which at one point became a top-level Category 5 hurricane with catastrophic winds of 160 mph, Jamaica's 2.7 million people braced for the worst.

"It is clear that the severity of this hurricane will have extremely serious effects, as predicted," said Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson as he declared a state of emergency. "Flooding has already begun in some places."

By 8 p.m. EDT, Ivan's center was about 45 miles south-southeast of Kingston at latitude 17.3 north and longitude 76.5 west, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (news - web sites) said.

It was moving west-northwest at 13 mph and its winds strengthened again to 150 mph. Hurricane-force winds extended for 60 miles from the center.

Ivan has killed at least 27 people, most of them on the devastated spice island of Grenada, which officials said remained without power or water and under a dusk-to-dawn curfew after widespread looting.

Security forces from Grenada and other Caribbean countries secured buildings in the capital, St. George's, while residents on foot or in cars with smashed windshields searched for scarce water, food and gasoline.

Authorities said 90 percent of Grenada's homes were damaged when the hurricane hit on Tuesday and issued an urgent appeal for tents, tarpaulins, cots, blankets and building supplies to shelter 60,000 of the volcanic island's 90,000 people.

Tour groups joined forces to evacuate tourists to Barbados while the State Department in Washington said it would evacuate U.S. citizens on Saturday.

In addition to 17 deaths in Grenada and one in Jamaica, four people died in Venezuela, four in the Dominican Republic and one in Tobago.

In the Cayman Islands, a major offshore financial center, most businesses, including banks and schools were closed. Some apartment complexes ordered residents to evacuate.

The hurricane center's long-range forecast, which has a large margin of error, put Ivan in Cuba by Sunday, and near Key West, Florida, on Monday afternoon.

The order for 80,000 residents to leave the Florida Keys was the third big evacuation in Florida in a month.

"This is really the time to prepare and not to panic," said Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. "It is also a time for people of faith to pray, for the souls we lost in these storms -- and there is a growing number of those -- for our state's recovery and for the strength to face what lies ahead."

Charley killed more than 20 people and caused insured damage of $7.4 billion after hitting southwest Florida on Aug 13. Frances, a less-powerful but bigger storm, killed 19 people and caused damages of $2 billion to $4 billion.

More than 650,000 homes and businesses in Florida, or about 1.3 million people, remained without power on Friday. (Additional reporting by Daniel Aguilar in Kingston, Manuel Jimenez in Santo Domingo, Robert Edison Sandiford in Bridgetown, Barbados, Michael Peltier in Tallahassee, Florida, Linda Hutchinson-Jafar in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, and Alan Markoff in George Town, Cayman Islands)
Posted by:Sep 10th 2004, 12:25:06 pm
Fig Tree News TeamHURRICANE IVAN ADVISORY NUMBER 33
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
11 AM EDT FRI SEP 10 2004

...DANGEROUS HURRICANE IVAN GRADUALLY APPROACHING JAMAICA...EXPECTED
TO MOVE SLOWLY BETWEEN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS AND CUBA...

A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR JAMAICA AND THE CAYMAN
ISLANDS.

A HURRICANE WATCH AND A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAIN IN EFFECT FOR
THE ENTIRE SOUTHWEST PENINSULA OF HAITI FROM THE BORDER OF THE
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC WESTWARD...INCLUDING PORT AU PRINCE.

AT 11 AM EDT...1500Z...THE GOVERNMENT OF CUBA HAS ISSUED A HURRICANE
WATCH FOR THE ENTIRE ISLAND AND A TROPICAL STORM WARNING FOR THE
SOUTH COAST OF EASTERN CUBA FROM CABO CRUZ TO SANTIAGO DE CUBA.

AT 11 AM EDT...1500Z...ALL WARNINGS AND WATCHES HAVE BEEN
DISCONTINUED FOR THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.

INTERESTS IN CENTRAL AND WESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA SHOULD CLOSELY
MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF DANGEROUS HURRICANE IVAN.

AT 11 AM EDT...1500Z...THE EYE OF HURRICANE IVAN WAS LOCATED NEAR
LATITUDE 16.5 NORTH...LONGITUDE 75.1 WEST OR ABOUT 155 MILES...
245 KM...SOUTHEAST OF KINGSTON JAMAICA.

IVAN IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 12 MPH...19 KM/HR.
THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO BRING THE CORE OF IVAN TO NEAR JAMAICA
TONIGHT OR EARLY SATURDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 145 MPH...230 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. STRONGER WINDS...ESPECIALLY IN GUSTS...ARE LIKELY OVER
ELEVATED TERRAIN. SOME FLUCTUATIONS IN INTENSITY ARE LIKELY DURING
THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 60 MILES... 95 KM...
FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP
TO 175 MILES...280 KM.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 934 MB...27.58 INCHES.

STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 5 TO 8 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS...
ALONG WITH LARGE AND DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES...CAN BE EXPECTED
NEAR THE CENTER OF IVAN IN THE HURRICANE WARNING AREA.

RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 6 TO 10 INCHES...POSSIBLY CAUSING LIFE-
THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES...CAN BE EXPECTED ALONG THE
PATH OF IVAN.
Posted by:Sep 9th 2004, 03:41:17 pm
chapelStorm analsys courtesy of DecoyDan:

Hurricane Ivan this morning is going into territory only a few storms have ever ventured. Right now Hurricane Ivan’s pressure is measured at 920 millibars. This eclipses Andrew’s 922 mark and puts in the elite of hurricanes who have measured the lowest barometric pressure ever in the Atlantic Basin. It is possible that before it is over with Ivan it could be down near the 900 mark which only two other hurricanes have ever achieved and they were the Great Labor Hurricane of 1935 and Hurricane Gilbert of 1988. Winds have been measured at 161 mph sustained in a tight envelope around the center of circulation. The good news is that Ivan cannot maintain this intensity and especially so if it interacts with the Jamaica and Cuba. However it could still be a very strong storm as moves into the Straits of Florida.



The most recent official forecast track from the National Hurricane Center is not quite as ominous as its previous one, but still could spell plenty of trouble over next few days. Regardless of the most recent forecast, South Florida is well embedded in the cone of probability for this system and the chances that it will track on the west side of the State or east side of the State are about statistically equal in the 4 to 5 day time period. There is no guidance that would favor one path over the other and fundamentally just reflect a slight difference in philosophy by the forecasters making the projections.



The situation remains the same as yesterday. If the ridge over the Bahamas is a little stronger, then Ivan tracks into the eastern Gulf. If it is weaker, then the system tracks up the east coast of Florida. One of the contributing factors to the overall path will be an upper level low south of Bermuda that is forecast to dive to the southwest and impinge on the high pressure steering Ivan. It is apparent from this morning’s water vapor images that this feature is much stronger than many of the models are projecting and thus capable of weakening the ridge more and allowing Ivan to turn to the north. This will be watched as well as the new computer guidance which will be issued later on today.



The other significant difference to this most recent forecast is that Ivan is projected to slow down as it makes its turn across Cuba delaying the arrival of impact until the day on Monday. However, this could change if an earlier turn to the north is made and a more direct path is taken. Right now the thinking is that Hurricane Watches would be posted sometime on the day on Saturday with a Hurricane Warning later in the day or first thing on Sunday. This will give us today and tomorrow to watch this system and begin coordination activities. A conference call schedule will be released later today for all interests to discuss the situation on Friday. Regardless, this is a significant system to get ready for and all preparations to mobilize for this event should begin.
Posted by:Sep 9th 2004, 11:21:42 am
Fig Tree News Team11 AM AST THU SEP 09 2004

...EXTREMELY DANGEROUS HURRICANE IVAN HEADING FOR JAMAICA AND THE
WESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA...

AT 11 AM AST...THE GOVERNMENT OF JAMAICA HAS ISSUED A HURRICANE
WARNING FOR JAMAICA.

A HURRICANE WATCH AND A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAIN IN EFFECT FOR
THE ENTIRE SOUTHWEST PENINSULA OF HAITI FROM THE BORDER OF THE
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC WESTWARD...INCLUDING PORT AU PRINCE.

A HURRICANE WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THE CAYMAN ISLANDS. A HURRICANE
WARNING WILL LIKELY BE REQUIRED FOR THE CAYMAN ISLANDS LATER TODAY.

AT 11 AM AST...1500Z...THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC HAS
ISSUED A HURRICANE WATCH AND A TROPICAL STORM WARNING FOR THE
BARAHONA PENINSULA FROM BARAHONA TO PERDENALES. A TROPICAL STORM
WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE SOUTHWESTERN COAST OF THE DOMINICAN
REPUBLIC FROM PALENQUE WESTWARD TO BARAHONA.

AT 11 AM AST...1500Z...THE GOVERNMENT OF CUBA HAS ISSUED A HURRICANE
WATCH FOR CENTRAL AND EASTERN CUBA FROM THE PROVINCE OF MATANZAS
EASTWARD.

INTERESTS IN CENTRAL AND WESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA SHOULD CLOSELY
MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF DANGEROUS HURRICANE IVAN.

AT 11 AM AST...1500Z...THE EYE OF HURRICANE IVAN WAS LOCATED NEAR
LATITUDE 14.5 NORTH...LONGITUDE 71.4 WEST OR ABOUT 430 MILES...
695 KM...EAST-SOUTHEAST OF KINGSTON JAMAICA.

IVAN IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 15 MPH
...24 KM/HR...AND THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT
24 HOURS. ON THIS TRACK THE HURRICANE WILL BE NEARING JAMAICA ON
FRIDAY.

IVAN IS A EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANE ON THE
SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE SCALE WIT MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS NEAR 160
MPH...260 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. SOME FLUCTUATIONS IN
INTENSITY ARE EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 60 MILES... 95 KM...
FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP
TO 160 MILES...260 KM.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 920 MB...27.17 INCHES.

STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 3 TO 5 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS...
ALONG WITH LARGE AND DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES...CAN BE EXPECTED
NEAR THE CENTER OF IVAN IN THE HURRICANE WARNING AREA.

RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 5 TO 7 INCHES...POSSIBLY CAUSING LIFE-
THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES...CAN BE EXPECTED ALONG THE
PATH OF IVAN.
Posted by:Sep 9th 2004, 10:13:37 am
chapelHurricane Ivan Strengthens After Mauling Grenada

9:00a Thursday

MIAMI (Reuters) - Ivan strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane, sweeping toward Jamaica on Thursday after killing at least 20 people in the tiny spice island of Grenada.

Ivan, packing sustained winds of 160 mph, was heading north-northwest from the south Caribbean and "could still intensify a little more this morning," the U.S. National Hurricane Center (news - web sites) said.

"Ivan remains an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane as it heads in the general direction of Jamaica," it said.

Ivan slammed into Grenada, a volcanic island of 90,000 people in the southeastern Caribbean on Tuesday, flattening or badly damaging homes and cutting power.

"Our diplomats are reporting that there are 20 confirmed deaths," said a State Department official in Washington.

The airport in the former British colony was closed and phone service was interrupted, so the extent of the damage began to emerge only on Wednesday.

Grenada's prime minister, Keith Mitchell, told BBC Radio: "We have got a tremendous hit that we never expected -- you are talking hundreds of millions of dollars of damage. We have declared the country a national disaster, contacted our international friends and indicated that.

"I am pretty sure we have taken a tremendous hit in the nutmeg industry, which is a key barometer of our economic development."

A videotape shot from a British naval helicopter showed widespread destruction with buildings flattened, roofs ripped off houses and major flooding.

Grenada's capital, St. George's, was devastated. The storm destroyed the island's emergency operations center, the prime minister's residence, the prison, many schools, and damaged the main hospital.

At 5 a.m. EDT, Ivan's center was located near latitude 13.9 west and longitude 70.0 north, about 535 miles east-southeast of Jamaica's capital, Kingston. It was moving west-northwest at 16 mph.

Ivan prompted storm alerts for the Dutch islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, Colombia's Guajira Peninsula, the northern coast of Venezuela, and parts of Haiti, including the capital Port-au-Prince.

The hurricane center's longer-term forecast, with a wide margin for change, had the storm passing over Cuba on Sunday and off Florida's southwest coast on Monday.

It was too soon to predict if the storm would become the third hurricane to hit Florida in a month. Hurricane Charley slammed into southwest of Florida on Aug. 13, followed by Hurricane Frances, which hit the east coast over the weekend.

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