Monday, August 20, 2007
Up to press time, 9 people are dead after Hurricane Dean buffeted Jamaicas southern coast, flooding the capital and littering it with broken trees and roofs. Dean was categorized as a Category 4 hurricane, the second-highest on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale. According to reports, it could strengthen to a potentially catastrophic Category 5 over the next 24 hours. The eye of the storm passed just south of Jamaica but the intense wall of winds around the calm center pummeled the island. Sheets of rain pelted the capital of Kingston and roads were blocked by toppled trees, utility poles and smashed roofs. Jamaicas Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has declared a one month state of emergency as a result of the hurricane.