Hurricane Ivan wrecks Jamaica

Hurricane Ivan, one of the most powerful storms to batter the Caribbean, has killed at least 16 people in Jamaica.

    The storm is now on its way to the Cayman Islands and Cuba

    Ivan, blamed for the deaths of at least 44 people - most of them when it ravaged Grenada - was upgraded on Saturday to a rare, top-intensity Category 5 hurricane as it headed towards the Cayman Islands and Cuba.

    Packing winds of 270kph, the hurricane wrecked houses and washed away roads in Jamaica. It is forecast to strike Florida early next week.

    Ivan ripped off roofs across Jamaica and torrential rains triggered mudslides, washing out roads. The storm brought trees and poles crashing down in capital Kingston, where ravines overflowed and flooded streets.

    Rising toll

    Jamaica's toll rose to 16 and included people whose houses collapsed when trees fell on them and others who drowned when their homes were submerged by floodwaters.

    Jamaican police made 28 arrests as they battled looting that erupted in the storm's wake. Two men were shot to death by police in gunfights when officers tried to retrieve stolen goods.

    Robbers held up emergency workers at gunpoint, shooting and injuring one doctor as she slowed her car in rising water.

    The storm is on course to hit the Cayman Islands, a wealthy British colony northwest of Jamaica and Cuba.

    It also threatens Florida with its third big hurricane strike in a month, after Charley and Frances caused an estimated $9.4 billion to $11.4 billion in insured damages.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.