Kingston, Jamaica (TDN) -- The first bands of tropical storm Sandy began buffeting Jamaica with heavy rains and howling winds as it threatened to become a hurricane before the end of today.
Jamaicans were preparing for the worst and heeding official warnings to take shelter and in the capital Kingston patrons began shuttering windows and doors of business places. Thousands of residents hunkered down as they waited for the onslaught that is expected to last for most of today.
The authorities announced the closure of the international airport and police ordered 48-hour curfews in major towns to keep people off the streets and deter looting, which is common after major storms.
Tropical Storm Sandy, which is the 18th named storm of the hurricane season was expected to saturate Jamaica with rain throughout the day Wednesday possibly becoming a hurricane before threatening Cuba by Wednesday evening.
At 8 AM on Wednesday, the eye of tropical storm Sandy was located just a few miles South of Jamaica with sustained winds of 70 miles per hour. On its current track, Sandy will make a direct hit on Jamaica covering the entire island from North to South.