Waves two storeys high crashed on Jamaica’s eastern shore, flooding homes and washing away roads as Hurricane Ivan’s ferocious winds and pounding rains began to lash the island and threatened a direct hit on its densely-populated capital.
The death toll elsewhere in the Caribbean rose to 37.
Ivan was packing 150mph winds with higher gusts, up from 140mph last night. Its latest victim was an eight-year-old boy who died yesterday of head injuries sustained when the storm collapsed his home in Grenada on Tuesday.
Jamaican prime minister PJ Patterson declared a public emergency and pleaded with the half million people considered in danger – about one in five islanders – to get to shelters. Many residents, however, refused to leave, fearing their homes would be robbed if abandoned.
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