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Jamaica braces itself for Dean

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Jamaica braces itself for Dean

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Hurricane Dean has continued to batter parts of the Caribbean as it heads ominously towards Jamaica. The storm’s 230-kilometer per hour winds have swept past the southern coasts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The two countries, which share the same island, were only on the fringes of the hurricane but still suffered flash floods, which killed one Haitian boy.

Dean has now claimed at least six victims since hitting Martinique as a category two storm. As its course takes it directly towards Jamaica, it has become a category four hurricane. Meteorologists have warned of “potentially catastrophic” consequences for Jamaicans, who are being urged to flee low-lying areas. Supermarket shelves are being emptied as residents batten down the hatches.

With Jamaica in its wake, Dean is expected to head towards Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. By then it could be a category five storm- the rarest and most severe. Airports there and in the British Cayman Islands are already evacuating tens of thousands of tourists.