HURRICANE MATTHEW UPDATE # 7 - Hurricane Matthew moving slowly; still a threat

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Hurricane Matthew was moving more slowly than originally projected on Monday, causing some anxiety about its ultimate impact on Jamaica. Evan Thompson, Director of the National Met Service, speaking at a press conference in Kingston, says the system remains a powerful Category Four hurricane and still constitutes a significant threat to the island.

He declared that if the system were to continue along its current northern trajectory, "a lot of that would be moving across the island of Jamaica, especially over eastern and central parishes."Accordingly, he said, the island would remain on Hurricane Warning, because the conditions that are associated with a hurricane, which include life-threatening flash flooding, landslides, storm surges, strong winds..."

There had been a slight realignment of the hurricane forecast track to the east, he noted, but served notice that "with a very slow moving system, if it really does get into the territorial waters of Jamaica, it will be remaining there for a very long period of time... We could be seeing it producing that rain for in excess of 24 hours over the island, and that could mean significant devastation for much of the island."

Notwithstanding that dire scenario, he said it was still possible for some shifts in the movement and direction of the weather system, which would determine whether there would be any change in the Met Office's forecasts.