Last updated: 10:55 AM ET, Wed October 05 2016

Hurricane Matthew Bears Down On Caribbean

Impacting Travel | Carnival Cruise Line | Rich Thomaselli | October 01, 2016

Hurricane Matthew Bears Down On Caribbean

PHOTO: Hurricane Matthew’s current projected path. (Photo via AccuWeather/Facebook)

Hurricane Matthew is bearing down on the Caribbean this morning, with Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, the Bahamas and, perhaps, south Florida in its path.

Matthew, churning west through the islands at a slow rate of speed at the moment, briefly on Friday became the first hurricane labeled as a since 2007 before being downgraded this morning.

But ‘downgraded’ is a relative term in this sense.

Hurricane Matthew is still a Category 4, and according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale from the National Hurricane Center, a Category 4 means “Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.”

In this video shot by NASA, watch the lower right hand corner to see how Matthew developed.

Matthew is currently located south of Jamaica and Haiti.

Two major cruise lines, Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean, have already changed itineraries on its sailings through the Caribbean.

Carnival announced late Friday night it has made changes to itineraries for Carnival Sunshine and Carnival Splendor.  Carnival Sunshine’s calls in Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk have been canceled and replaced with stops in Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico.  The ship leaves Miami today for five nights.

READ MORE: What You Need To Know About Hurricane Season Travel

Carnival Splendor leaves from Miami on Sunday and will sail a reverse itinerary with stops in Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. This six night cruise leaves from Miami, Florida on Sunday.

Carnival said on its website it is “continuing to monitor Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean” and would have its next update after 8 p.m. tonight.

Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas has exchanged ports of call in St. Thomas and St. Maarten for Labadee and Falmouth.  Adventure of the Seas will not stop in St. Lucia and Barbados and will now travel to St. Maarten, St. Croix, and St. Thomas.

Both American Airlines and Delta Air Lines have issued travel warnings to its customers and said it would waive change fees to certain destinations as the storm continues to develop.


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