Hurricane Dean is continuing to build in strength with winds reaching well over 200 kilometers an hour. The US National Hurricane Centre said that Dean was now a Category 4 storm the second highest level on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale and capable of widespread destruction.
Dean has already hit the Caribbean levelling banana plantations and setting off landslides. On St Lucia Dean ripped the roof off the paediatric wing of Victoria hospital in the capital Castries. Dean’s projected path will lead it over Jamaica on Sunday and close to Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. On Martinique, an elderly man died of a heart attack and six others have been injured. The storm destroyed all the islands banana plantations which employ 10,000 of the islands 400,000 population.
Computer models show the hurricane landing as far north as Louisiana, which was also hit by hurricane’s Rita and Katrina. Forecasters have predicted the six-month hurricane season will be more active than average 16 storms are expected compared to the usual 10 or 11.