Hurricane Sandy, day by day
(AP) – A look at Hurricane Sandy, day by day, on its path across the Caribbean:
_ Oct. 22: Tropical Depression 18 forms over the southwestern Caribbean, about 320 miles (515 kilometers) south-southwest of Kingston, Jamaica. Six hours later, the U.S. National Hurricane Center says it has grown to tropical storm force and names it Sandy.
_ Oct. 23: Jamaica and Cuba begin making preparations for the strengthening storm.
_ Oct. 24: Sandy becomes a hurricane with winds of 80 mph (130 kph) just before slamming into Jamaica west of the capital, Kingston, at about 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT). The fast-moving storm crosses the island within five hours, killing one person, blowing off roofs and cutting power to half the country. Forecasters begin warning that Sandy could combine with two other weather fronts in the U.S. to create a “super storm.”
_ Oct. 25: Sandy grows into a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 115 mph (185 kph) and blasts across eastern Cuba in less than seven hours without losing force. Officials say 11 people are killed, 5,000 houses are at least partially collapsed and 30,000 lose their roofs. Crops are badly damaged. But the greatest damage is in nearby Haiti, hit by the storm’s outer bands. Officials say at least 26 people die over two days, most in flooded rivers or collapsed houses. U.S. authorities at the Guantanamo Bay naval base are forced to suspend a hearing for a suspect in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole. By early afternoon, the hurricane rolls into the Bahamas and begins to weaken as winds fall to 90 mph (150 kph).
_ Oct. 26: Sandy’s center emerges from Bahamas after killing at least one person and causing widespread power outages. It weakens to winds of 75 mph (120 kph). A Puerto Rico man dies in a river swollen by the storm’s rains. Forecasters say it is likely to hit the U.S. Eastern Seaboard as a tropical storm early Tuesday.