Caribbean-On-Line's Caribbean Hurricane Blog

Tourists flee as Gustav churns toward Jamaica

Published on August 28, 2008 1:50 PM | Comments

From the AP:

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) -- Tourists and oil workers fled Thursday as Gustav churned toward Jamaica and the Cayman Islands with winds near hurricane force. Louisiana called a state of emergency and put the National Guard on standby, hoping to avoid the chaos of Hurricane Katrina three years ago.

Gustav moved away from the island of Hispaniola, where it killed 23 people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and inched toward Jamaica's low-lying capital, 80 miles (130 kilometers) to the west. Forecasters predicted it would hug Jamaica's southern shore before making a near-direct hit on Grand Cayman.

Even as tourists searched for flights off the islands, officials urged calm. Theresa Foster, one of the owners of the Grand Caymanian Resort, said Gustav didn't look as threatening as Hurricane Ivan, which destroyed 70 percent of Grand Cayman's buildings four years ago.

"Whatever was going to blow away has already blown away," she said.

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