National Hurricane Center

Matthew strengthens into powerful Category 5 hurricane in Caribbean

Matthew strengthens into powerful Category 5 hurricane in Caribbean

Hurricane Matthew grew into a powerful Category 5 storm late Friday as it crossed the Caribbean Sea on a course that could have it pounding Jamaica within days.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center called it the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic since Felix in 2007.

Matthew's center was projected to reach Jamaica on Monday. Evan Thompson, director of the National Meteorological Service, said the first effects of the storm may be felt as early as Saturday.

"We do consider it serious," Thompson said. "We are all on high alert."

Jamaica activated its National Emergency Operations Center and Prime Minister Andrew Holness called an urgent meeting...

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