Gilbert made landfall first on the east coast of Jamaica at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 12, 1988. It made landfall as a Category Three and later intensified to a Category Five.
The eye measured about 15 miles across. Wind speeds averaging 75 miles per hour (mph) gusting to 127 mph were recorded in the Kingston Metropolitan Area. As the eye exited western Jamaica at 6 p.m., it intensified further (888 millibars).
Gilbert devastated all sectors of the society and the economy. Damage was estimated at $4 billion, with the damage to agriculture accounting for more than 40 per cent of this total.
Forty-five persons reportedly died across the island.
Ninety-five per cent of all health facilities suffered damage.
It was estimated that more than 800,000 persons sought shelter.
A one-month State of Public Emergency was declared for St Thomas, St Catherine, and Kingston and St Andrew.
It took several months for water, electricity, and telephone services to be fully restored across the island.
Gilbert was the first hurricane in 37 years to hit Jamaica directly.
Gilbert was the most destructive storm in the history of Jamaica and the most severe storm since Hurricane Charlie in 1951.
Because of its devastating impact, the name Gilbert was retired from the list of hurricane names.