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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 September, 2004, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
'Flooding and trees everywhere'
As Hurricane Ivan continued to batter Jamaica on Saturday, BBC News Online spoke by telephone to a Briton living on the island.

A tree blown over onto a car in Kingston, Jamaica
The arrival of dawn revealed Hurricane Ivan's devastating impact
Sean Bryan and his family have barricaded themselves into their dining room, the one room of their Kingston home with a concrete rather than wooden roof.

Mr Bryan said that shutters sold out on the island days ago so he had placed cushions and mattresses against the windows "to stop the glass shattering over us if they blow in".

Mr Bryan, his wife, their three-year-old son and five-year-old daughter had managed to get some sleep overnight on mattresses on the floor.

Surveying the devastation outside their windows, Mr Bryan said: "It's quite an amazing scene.

"There is a river going down the road. There are trees down everywhere. Our swimming pool has flooded and it's full of trees.

"We had a fairly big fence of trees at the end of our garden - we have got an open-plan garden now and can see our neighbours."

It's as blowy as it was and lashing down with rain
Mr Bryan, who is chief operating officer for Cable and Wireless in Jamaica, said: "Fortunately, our house is very sturdy and it proved to be so.

"We are nice and dry in here. We are lucky."

Mr Bryan added the position of his home at the foot of mountains meant "we are far enough away from the shore so we don't get drowned, and not so high that we get blown away".

"Listening to the radio, there are a lot of people in a worse situation than us."

The water and electricity have been cut throughout the night, but the family have listened to updates on a battery-powered radio.

"Listening to the news, there are lots of houses' roofs off, flooding everywhere."

There were also reports of looting in the capital, Mr Bryan said.

We are just waiting for it to be out of the way - we are wondering when we can relax
"With the social problems down here, this is not the place to have this sort of thing."

The eye of Hurricane Ivan had been due to hit Jamaica at 0200 local time (0800 BST).

Forecasters later said the course of the storm had changed, veering away from the capital towards the western coast.

Mr Bryan said: "My understanding is that the hurricane has gone, but I think this thing is moving quite slowly. It's as blowy as it was and lashing down with rain.

"We are still a little bit worried, it's not done yet, but I think we have seen the worst.

"We are just waiting for it to be out of the way. We are wondering when we can relax."


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