Hurricane “Matthew” makes direct hit on Haiti causing over 1 000 deaths
Category 4 Hurricane "Matthew" has made landfall near Les Anglais in western Haiti at 11:00 UTC on October 4, 2016. As of early October 10, the number of people it killed as it crossed the island was over 1 000.
At the time of the landfall, Matthew had maximum sustained winds of 230 km/h (145 mph) and gusts to 278 km/h (172 mph). It was already dumping heavy rain over a wide region.
At 12:00 UTC, its center was located 15 km (9.3 miles) E of Tiburon, Haiti and 200 km (125 miles) S of the eastern tip of Cuba. Matthew's minimum estimated pressure was 934 hPa.
Total rain accumulations of 381 to 635 mm (15 to 25 inches) are expected across southern Haiti and the southwestern portion of the Dominican Republic, with possible isolated amounts of 1 016 mm (40 inches).
Matthew is moving toward the north near 15 km/h (9.3 mph), and this general motion is expected to continue today.
The system will exit Haiti around 13:00 UTC and be on its way toward eastern Cuba.
Hurricane "Matthew" forecast track by NHC at 12:00 UTC on October 4, 2016
October 5, 2016
Category 4 Hurricane "Matthew" left a trail of destruction as it moved over Haiti, one of the world's poorest countries. It was the strongest hurricane to make landfall over Haiti since Cleo of 1964. Both of them made landfall in the same location.
First reports mention 3 deaths in Haiti and 4 in the Dominican Republic, but the death toll is expected to rise as the authorities assess the extent of the damage.
"We've already seen deaths. People who were out at sea. There are people who are missing. They are people who didn't respect the alerts. They've lost their lives," Interim Haitian President Jocelerme Privert said.
Southern Haiti has been cut off from the country after the bridge, linking it to the capital, Port-au-Prince, collapsed. Authorities said it will be very difficult to find an alternative route.
Coastal communities were flooded, with many houses destroyed.
In the port town of Les Cayes (population 70 000), the situation was described as catastrophic, BBC reported. Its mayor posted the following video:
Nan zone vernet avek cameraman Mairie Okay lan @Duplesplymouth sou kantite dega nou komanse konstate nan vil lan.#HurricaneMatthew pic.twitter.com/srIerR3ydx
— Jean Gabriel Fortuné (@jgabrielfortune) October 4, 2016
October 6, 2016
As of late October 6, the death toll has risen to 136 people, Haitian government officials said. However, the full scale of destruction is still not known as aid workers are still struggling to reach remote areas of the country.
Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste, the head of the country’s civil protection directorate, warned the death toll was likely to rise. “We do know there’s a lot of damage in the Grand’Anse, and we also know human life has been lost there,” she said and warned the death toll was likely to rise.
Aerial footage of the city of Jeremie on the northwestern coast of the country and the capital city of Grand'Anse Department showed hundreds of flattened houses and deserted streets strewn with debris.
October 7, 2016, 06:28 UTC
The overall death toll in Haiti is not clear.
Emmanuel Pierre, an Interior Ministry coordinator in Les Cayes, told AP that at least 283 people died in just one part of Haiti's southwest, the region that bore the brunt of the storm.
Shortly before Pierre spoke, the headquarters for Haiti's Civil Protection Agency had put the number of confirmed deaths for the whole country at 122.
October 8, 2016, 06:24 UTC
The number of casualties soared to 877, Reuters reported.
Tens of thousands are left homeless and outbreaks of cholera are already claiming more lives.
"Due to massive flooding and its impact on water and sanitation infrastructure, cholera cases are expected to surge after Hurricane Matthew and through the normal rainy season until the start of 2017," the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said in a statement.
With fatalities mounting, various government agencies and committees differed on total deaths. A Reuters count of deaths reported by civil protection and local officials put the toll at 877.
October 10, 2016, 11:27 UTC
Haitian authorities have resorted to burying the dead in mass graves in the aftermath of the devastating Hurricane Matthew, which has killed at least 1 000 people on the island, Reuters reports.
Striking drone footage shows the devastation #Hurricane Matthew unleashed on #Haiti pic.twitter.com/PK1DFRA7WY
— AFP news agency (@AFP) October 9, 2016
Cholera outbreaks have contributed to the dire situation and caused at least 13 deaths
Video courtesy Ruptly TV
Read more: Hurricane "Matthew" summary: data, images and videos – September/October 2016
Featured image credit: Hurricane "Matthew" hits Haiti – 11:45 UTC, October 4, 2016. Credit: NOAA/GOES-EAST
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