Fwd: Cayman Update
- [Good report from an unexpected source--many thanks to Marcus Day for
the service --- as most members of the CARIBWA list know, the list
moderator, "Martin A. Keeley" <mangrove@...> lives in Cayman
The Cayman Islands reports at the Caribbean Storm
site<http://stormcarib.com/reports/2004/cayman.shtml> are unusually
complete --- and scary. Scroll down to read the AP correspondent's
* From: "Gretchen Allen" <gretchen_allen AT hotmail.com>
* Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2004 14:10:15 -0500
best wishes to all . . .
>Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2004 14:06:54 -0400--
>Reply-To: Marcus Day <daym@...>
>Sender: Members of the Society for Caribbean Studies based in UK
>From: Marcus Day <daym@...>
>Subject: Cayman Update
>Sunday, September 12, 2004
>As of 11 am local time (12 noon EDT), Hurricane Ivan continued to pound
>Grand Cayman with155 mph winds as it moved slowly along the south coast of
>According to the National Hurricane Service in Miami, at 11 am EDT the eye
>of Hurricane Ivan was about 30 miles southwest of Grand Cayman, but
>hurricane force winds extended for about 90 miles from the centre of the
>As the centre of circulation moves to the southwest of the island, the winds
>will start to shift to the south, likely exacerbating the dangerous sea
>conditions already existing around the coasts. In previous hurricanes, the
>sea has flooded across the island, joining the North and South Sounds, and,
>with the 6 to 8 ft tidal surge accompanying Ivan, it is possible that
>hurricane-force southerly winds could result in breaking waves across the
>entire neck of land separating the two Sounds.
>The government-run Radio Cayman is currently off the air as a result of
>damage to the building housing its studios, with floodwater 2 feet deep in
>the parking lot. According to Radio Cayman's News Director, Joel Francis,
>"We just didn't see this coming."
>The Government Information Service is also unable to operate and this report
>has been prepared from unofficial information obtained from local sources.
>As predicted, widespread flooding from the expected tidal surge was
>affecting a large part of the island. One report of a house standing eight
>feet above normal sea level had water ankle-deep inside. In lower-lying
>areas there have been reports of people having to climb onto kitchen
>counters to escape the seas that came flooding into their houses.
>At the offices of Cayman Net News, at the time of filing this report, a foot
>of floodwater has entered the building causing much damage.
>The hurricane force winds have torn roofs off and reportedly devastated
>homes, even in affluent, well-constructed neighbourhoods.
>Vehicles parked in flood-prone areas are said to have "just disappeared."
>With many buildings, both residential and commercial, utilising septic tank
>waste treatment systems, the widespread flooding is resulting in serious
>health and sanitation concerns as overflowing sewage becomes mixed with the
>At the Cable & Wireless emergency bunker at One Technology Place, a number
>of people were given shelter after roofs blew off their houses.
>Floodwater rushing through the ground floor apartments in at least one
>condominium building in West Bay forced the occupants to flee for their own
>safety to the floors above.
>There has been a report that the Hyatt Regency hotel had to be evacuated.
>All three islands are currently without any electricity, while water
>supplies were shut down Saturday night for fear of contamination from broken
>Telecommunications are inconsistent and unreliable. Many landlines,
>especially those that rely on the mains electrical supply are out of
>commission, but cellular services are still working intermittently.
>Reports from the Sister Islands have been scarce, but it is understood that
>many residents of Cayman Brac sought shelter in the caves on the Bluff, the
>traditional refuge from hurricanes on that island.
>All emergency services personnel have been required to stay at their posts
>through normal shift changes because it has been too dangerous for the
>incoming shift to venture out in the current conditions. This has doubtless
>resulted in a high degree of tiredness and stress for those emergency
>workers who have been on duty since Saturday.
>Sky News in Britain has been carrying live reports every hour from Cayman
>Net News Publisher and Editor in Chief Desmond Seales, MBE, from the
>newspaper's offices in Allista Towers, in George Town, Grand Cayman.
>According to Mr Seales, "This is a national disaster. Damage is likely to
>run into the tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars
>Marcus Day, Director
>Caribbean Drug Abuse Research Institute
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