At least nine people were confirmed dead and others missing as heavy rains from Tropical Storm Nicole lashed Jamaica today. According to Reuters, forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami pegged its peak sustained winds at 40 miles per hour, just over the 39 mph threshold to become a named storm; nevertheless, damage on the island due to flooding has been considerable.
The Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said that the storm is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of between five to 10 inches over the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Cuba with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches over Cuba and Jamaica. “These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides,” it warned, adding that Nicole was now moving towards the northwest near nine miles per hour and is expected to affect the Bahamas later today.
Disaster and other officials here confirmed that a number of persons had been killed and that several houses and buildings had also been damaged or destroyed by the floods associated with the rains.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries said that two farmers in Flagaman, St Elizabeth had been washed away and are presumed dead. The identities of the men are not yet known. [. . .] Police also confirmed that one person had been killed and six others, including four children, were missing after a house collapsed in the raging waters of the Sandy Gully in Sandy Park St Andrew. All the occupants were said to be asleep at the time of the incident that occurred during the early hours of Wednesday.
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