Lifestyle & Belief

Jamaicans weather tropical storm to watch Usain Bolt win in London


A handout photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows Tropical Storm Ernesto building strength as it moves west toward Jamaica Aug. 4 in the Caribbean.



Tropical Storm Ernesto lashed Jamaica on Sunday but didn't stop locals gathering at the national stadium in Kingston to witness the Usain Bolt vs. Yohan Blake 100-meter final showdown at the London Olympics.

Hundreds of Jamaicans, many decked out in colors of green, black and gold, turned out in gale-force winds to find out which of their compatriots would be crowned fastest man alive, the Associated Press reported.

As Bolt cruised home in his semifinal, wind whipped Jamaican flags at the Kingston stadium and screens had to be repeatedly shut down.

According to a separate AP report, Jamaica's emergency management agency urged people in flood-prone areas to be on alert, while Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller called on all Jamaicans to make the necessary preparations to ensure their safety.

"I urge you to especially consider the children, the sick, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and the most vulnerable in the society," she said.

Tropical Storm Ernesto was expected to strengthen over Jamaica and kept its westerly course in the Caribbean Sea, making landfall on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Monday or Tuesday, possibly at hurricane strength.

Tropical storm conditions were expected to reach Honduras by Monday, the US National Hurricane Center said, according to the Oman Observer.

A tropical storm watch advisory was also issued for Grand Cayman.

Tropical Storm Florence, meantime, was still far out in the Atlantic, and forecasters said it would gradually weaken over the next few days.

Jamaica is already in a party mood, according to the AP, celebrating its 50th anniversary of independence from Britain on Monday.

Along with the Bolt-Blake battle, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce made it back-to-back Olympic titles in the women’s 100 meters.