Along with Hurricane Joaquin, the National Hurricane Center is watching two disturbances in the central Atlantic and near the Cape Verde Islands. When it did, the ship’s officers were monitoring what was then Tropical Storm Joaquin, according to Tim Nolan, president of TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico, which owns the vessel. The 12 crew members were in a life raft and belonged to the Bolivian-flagged cargo ship Minouche. At this time Coast Guard watchstanders and rescue crews have been unable to reestablish communications with the El Faro crew.
“It is very imperative that residents in those islands batten down”, said Basil Dean of the Bahamas Department of Meteorology. They said they received notification that the ship had lost power around 7 a.m. ET Thursday near Crooked Island in the eastern Bahamas, one of the islands most battered by the storm. There have been no reports of fatalities or injuries, Capt. Stephen Russell, the director of the Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency told the Associated Press.
Referring to his earlier comments as to being in a “prepare and prayer mode”, Bellone said, “It looks like our prayers were answered with this storm – this hurricane – moving off shore”.
Hurricane Joaquin is lingering over the Central Bahamas, and the unsafe Category 4 storm is expected to affect the islands through early Friday.
Security guard Patrick Bethel said he was thankful there had been no reported casualties and wasn’t too anxious about what the day would bring: “We just have to see what God will do”. Hurricane Joaquin could amplify these effects, even if the storm does not make landfall. Classified as an “extremely dangerous” Category Four storm, Joaquin is capable of inflicting death and destruction with sustained winds clocked at 130 miles per hour, according to the hurricane center. Many of our computer models are really all over the place with where it goes from there.
Heavy rains, to the west of a front keeping Joaquin off the coast, are forecast for the southeastern U.S. As much as 19 inches could fall in South Carolina through the next five days, the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, said.
Joaquin’s hurricane-force winds, which extended 80 km from its centre, were forecast to miss the larger Bahamas islands and the main cities and cruise ship ports of Freeport and Nassau. The storm is about 10 miles (15 kilometers) north of Rum Cay, Bahamas.
The most destructive weather pattern so far this year was Tropical Storm Erika, which killed around 30 people and caused extensive damage in August on the small Caribbean island of Dominica. “But we are still going to have a few bad weather”.