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Evacuations continue as Hurricane Matthew approaches

Hurricane Matthew, making slow but devastating progress through the Caribbean, is forcing the closure of at least one oil terminal in the Bahamas, according to Bloomberg.

The South Riding Point Terminal in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island will be evacuated by its leaseholder Statoil later this week. The terminal includes storage for 6.7m barrels, loading and unloading facilities.

Matthew, a Category 4 storm, was hammering Haiti with 145mph winds on Tuesday, the most powerful hurricane to land on that part of Hispaniola in 52 years.

And while some US coastal communities were monitoring Matthew’s progress, Port Canaveral on Florida’s Atlantic coast was taking no chances, announcing its closure to be effective on Wednesday afternoon.

The US Coast Guard (USCG) said no vessel traffic, including cargo ships, will be allowed in harbour until the storm passes.

The US National Hurricane Centre in Miami, Florida, forecast the centre of the storm passing over southwestern Haiti, southeastern and central Bahamas, with heavy rains affecting the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Jamaica.

US authorities had already announced plans to evacuate non-military personnel from the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in southeastern Cuba.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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