Householders in the Caribbean are preparing for tropical storm Sandy, which is expected to develop into a hurricane by the time it hits Jamaica later today.
With the eye of the storm around 300 kilometres south of the capital Kingston there were sustained winds of 95 kilometres per hour.
Authorities in Jamaica and Cuba issued hurricane warnings, telling residents to expect heavy rain and winds of up to 130 kilometres per hour.
One light-hearted resident, stocking up on supplies at a supermarket in Jamaica said: “She is just coming on vacation, she isn’t going to stay long. So I am just making sure I am ready in case she changes her mind and wants to stay for a couple of weeks. Everybody get ready because Sandy isn’t playing.”
Tropical storm Sandy is heading towards the southern coast of Jamaica and is expected to continue its northward track passing over Cuba and the Bahamas before turning into the Atlantic.
Cubans have been out preparing for the rain. Meteorologists expect up to half a metre of water to fall in certain parts of eastern Cuba. Residents have been clearing undergrowth from riverbanks to help rainfall flow away.