HURRICANE MATTHEW COULD SHIFT BACK TO US ... Met Office says threat remains
Evan Thompson as the new director for the Meteorological Service Division said Jamaica is still under a hurricane threat, and that persons should not remain vigilant despite various forecasts that Hurricane Matthew is moving away from Jamaica.
"Because the system is not moving now either, you can't be definitely sure where it is heading," Thompson said.
Hurricane warnings are in effect for much of eastern Cuba, and all of Haiti and Jamaica.
"There could still be another shift in the track that could bring it closer to us so we just have to be vigilant right now and consider it a significant threat," Thompson told THE STAR Online at midday on Sunday.
"We can't lift the hurricane warning which means that hurricane conditions are quite likely," he added.
Hurricane Matthew is moving generally north-northwestward as a strong and extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane, located about 350 miles south-southwest of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Earlier today, West Rural St Andrew Member of Parliament, Juliet Cuthbert Flynn, took to the social networking site Twitter to declare that the hurricane is no longer a threat to Jamaica.
"#HurricaneMatthew no longer a threat, but I must commend @AndrewHolnessJM for a great job. we were informed and prepared for the worst," the Government MP tweeted.
Several other Jamaicans have been using social media to suggest that the country is no longer under hurricane threat.
However, Thompson said that it is inappropriate for such comments to be made.
"We still are threatened. This is a Category 4 hurricane right now, it is expected to weakened somewhat, but when it passes near us it will still be a Category 3 hurricane, which is a major hurricane," Thompson said.
"The centre would really be to the coast of Haiti but Haiti is really not more than 100 miles from us so we will still have tropical storm force winds extending over most of the country," he added.