As Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the southeast coast of Jamaica yesterday, about 200 Trinidad and Tobago nationals were bracing for bad weather at their halls at the University of the West Indies campus in Mona.
Student Avis Holder told the Express, by phone from Jamaica, the mood of the Trinidad and Tobago students was not one of much concern yet and most were still liming yesterday afternoon.
"This, of course, was only after they had stocked up on food and water," she said.
The hurricane posed a flood risk to low-lying areas near Kingston, hurricane forecasters said.
Schools and businesses closed and emergency authorities moved residents from flood-prone areas into shelters, as steady rain and winds pounded the island.
The Jamaica government closed the Norman Manley Airport in Kingston at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, while the Montego Bay Airport was closed at 10 p.m. on Tuesday.
Caribbean Airlines cancelled 16 flights in and out of the island.
Holder said around 11 a.m. Jamaica time, they began experiencing strong winds, heavy rains and, by 4 p.m., "trees had been blown down and some roofs blown off".
She said: "From since Tuesday, students have been stocking up on things like bread and canned items, but they ran out of these items in the campus grocery so we had to leave and shop elsewhere to ensure that we got some of the basics.
"I also know that UWI had told the international and regional students to remain on the campus because they have to be accountable to all the Trinidadians there."
There was little activity on the streets of Kingston, as residents heeded the call by authorities to stay home, international news reports stated.
Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller cut short a five-day trip to Canada to get home before the storm.
"We must all be careful. Those who can move into shelters should do so now," she said.
Several roads were flooded and blocked by fallen trees, and mudslides were reported near villages on the outskirts of Kingston.
Police imposed curfews on 80 communities across Jamaica as a deterrent to looting during the passage of the storm.
Looters shot and wounded a senior police officer on patrol in one volatile community.
Hurricane Sandy was centred about five miles east of Kingston and was moving north at 14 miles per hour, with top sustained winds of 80 miles per hour, the US National Hurricane Center said in a 3 p.m. advisory yesterday, and was projected to move across the middle of Jamaica.