(CNS): The US forces sent a team of around 100 military personnel and nine helicopters to Cayman Tuesday, in readiness to support disaster relief operations in the region if needed in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. In a release from the US Department of Defence, officials said a special-purpose marine air-ground task force left Honduras’ Soto Cano Air Base aboard various military helicopters to provide heavy lift support to us disaster assistance missions.
CNS has contacted the offices of the premier and governor but there has been no comment about the arrival of the US forces and their equipment from any local officials about Cayman’s role in the regional disaster relief mission as the hurricane continues on its destructive path.
At 8pm Tuesday evening, the eye of category 4 Hurricane Matthew was making landfall near the eastern tip of Cuba, having ploughed across Haiti, still packing winds of 140 mph. Aid agencies were reporting catastrophic damage in Haiti as international organisations began readying for the aftermath.
Matthew is forecast to move near or over the southeastern and central Bahamas Wednesday, and approach the northwestern Bahamas Wednesday night. But on Tuesday night but the powerful wind and heavy rains were still impacting Haiti and Cuba.
With the dangerous storm still heading north, here in Cayman, the national flag carrier Cayman Airways was offering to waive change fees for passengers wanting to cancel flights between Grand Cayman and Miami, Florida.