As London braces itself for another blizzard of vehicles heading north in 2019, Kingston, Jamaica is looking a little eerily like London two years ago.
Last year the country was hit by one of the heaviest tropical storms ever recorded on the Caribbean island, with winds of up to 185 kilometers per hour.
The arrival of Hurricane Matthew left the beachside city of Kingston and other towns dotted with mountains of steel and plastic debris.
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Flooding destroyed dozens of homes, even in areas that usually flood by other means. There were a number of landslides that killed at least two people.
Oyster-shaped debris, left behind by the storm
It also left Kingston with damage costing $400 million to repair.
On the eve of Matthew’s landfall, the Royal Horticultural Society estimated that around 50 percent of the island’s trees had been uprooted or damaged in the cyclone.
How Kingston coped with Matthew
In Kingston, where business was close to zero for a few weeks, the city’s residents were told to prepare for the storm, and schools and businesses were closed.
But Hurricane Matthew never made landfall. After flying over the island, the National Hurricane Center eventually canceled its storm warning for Kingston.
But the storm had already left huge boulders strewn across the city, and there was no official estimate on how many trees and buildings had been destroyed.
Piles of broken furniture, and waterlogged bookshelves dotted the streets. Chairs from a jogging track lay in the street, as jampacked shopping malls remained closed.
Matters turned out a little bit better when its damage eventually hit close to the ground. A few buildings were partially collapsed, and parts of streets have been cleared by sand bags and barricades.
This isn’t Kingston’s first brush with a storm. In 1982 Hurricane Gilbert battered the city, tearing apart properties, twisting windows, knocking down fences and uprooting fruit trees.
When the tropical cyclone struck Kingston the atmosphere was classified as an ‘E’ system, which is storm that is formed in the first three days of a season.