GEORGE TOWN, GRAND CAYMAN - The George Town Headquarters of the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry, a division of the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands (MACI), opened for business as usual at 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, 11 Nov. The passing over the weekend of Hurricane Paloma had forced closure of the office on Friday, 7th Nov. Monday, 10 Nov., was a Public Holiday, Remembrance Day and the office was closed then, as well.
Hurricane Paloma skirted to the southeast of Grand Cayman Friday night as a Category 3 storm. The island suffered some severe flooding and damage to coastal areas, but was largely spared by the storm's 11th hour diversion. The Sister Islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, some 80 - 90 miles to the east of the larger island, were less fortunate, however. The eye of the storm, by then a Category 4, passed just 13 miles to the southeast of the Brac's lighthouse, situated on the Bluff, at an elevation of 140 feet. The lighthouse suffered some damage and the devastation on the Brac is considerable, with perhaps hundreds left without homes, according to local news reports.
As a result, the first Annual Caribbean Port State Control meeting, scheduled for 25th - 27th Nov. on Cayman Brac, which was to have been hosted by MACI, has been cancelled. It is hoped that it will be rescheduled for April/May, 2009, again in Cayman Brac.
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