NASSAU, The Bahamas – Hurricane Joaquin has strengthened into an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane. The Central Bahamas will experience hurricane force winds, storm surges and heavy rainfall throughout tonight.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Northwest, Central and parts of the Southeast Bahamas. This includes: the Abacos, the Berry Islands, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama, New Providence, Long Island, the Exumas, Cat Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay and Mayguana.
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within in the warning area within 36 hours.
A Tropical Storm Warning is now in effect for the Turks and Caicos and the remainder of the Southeast Bahamas, which includes Ragged Island and Inagua.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected in the warning area within 36 hours.
The Bahamas Ministry Of Tourism’s crisis management team is closely monitoring the progress of the storm and liaising with the National Emergency Management Agency, Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association, Nassau Development Company and other relevant authorities.
Each Bahamas Tourist Office (BTO) throughout the islands is equipped with a satellite phone to keep in touch with the command center in New Providence.
All hotels and resorts throughout The Islands Of The Bahamas have activated their hurricane programs and are taking all necessary precautions to protect visitors and residents, as safety remains the highest priority.
As a result of the Hurricane Warning, at least three cruise lines have rerouted their ships to avoid Hurricane Joaquin. Carnival has altered its Eastern Caribbean itineraries for Pride and Valor, Princess replaced Royal Princess’ call at the line’s private island, and Norwegian has canceled Getaway’s Nassau call scheduled for later this week.
Due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Joaquin, the following Bahamasair flights have been cancelled today into Long Island, Georgetown Exuma, all Eleuthera flights and Providenciales, Turks & Caicos.
Persons travelling to and from these destinations should contact Bahamasair’s reservations department to make alternate reservations. All other domestic flights and flights to Florida will operate as usual. Further advisories will be issued on Bahamasair.com as new information becomes available.
At 2 pm EDT the center of Hurricane Joaquin was located near latitude 23.0 degrees north and longitude 74.2 degrees west. This puts the eye of Joaquin 10 miles east south-east of Samana Cay, 37 miles south south-west of Acklins, 71 miles east of Long Island, 231 miles southeast of New Providence and 119 miles southeast of Turks and Caicos.
Hurricane Joaquin is moving generally southwestwards at 6 miles per hour. A turn toward the northwest and north is expected on Friday and a faster motion towards the north is expected Friday night and Saturday. On the forecast track, the center of Joaquin is expected to move near or over portions of the Central Bahamas today and tonight and pass near or over portions of the Northwestern Bahamas on Friday.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 130 miles per hour with higher gusts. Joaquin is now a Category 4 hurricane and some additional strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours, with some fluctuations in intensity possible through Saturday.
Residents in the warning areas should ensure that all preparations have been completed and remain in door once conditions deteriorate.
The Islands Of The Bahamas will be releasing updates on tracking of Hurricane Joaquin, but we encourage everyone to access the National Hurricane Center and The Weather Channel for latest updates. For more information on Hurricane Joaquin and The Islands Of The Bahamas, travel professionals and consumers are advised to access the following:
The National Hurricane Center at nhc.ncoaa.gov