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Powerful hurricane Matthew lashes the Caribbean leaving a trail of devastation in Haiti

By Accuweather & http://www.aljazeera.com & BBC Reports — last modified Oct 07, 2016 10:22 AM
Hurricane Matthew, the fiercest Caribbean storm in nearly a decade, made landfall in the Bahamas on Wednesday after battering Haiti, Cuba and the Dominican Republic with torrential rains. Emergencies have been declared in South Carolina and eastern and central North Carolina and evacuation orders were issued in advance of the storm, which is likely to impact the Eastern Carolinas Friday and Saturday.

Published: 2016-10-05 23:00:00
Topics: Weather
Countries: Bahamas , Cuba , Dominican Republic , Haiti , USA

Update Friday 7 October

The number of people killed in Haiti by the devastating effects of Hurricane Matthew rose to at least 339 on Friday as rescue workers and aid agencies battled to reach remote areas of the country, assess the damage and deliver relief.

The hurricane, which the United Nations said has caused the worst humanitarian crisis to hit struggling Haiti since a devastating 2010 earthquake, whipped the country, and also Cuba, with 230km-per-hour winds on Tuesday, pummelling towns, farmland and resorts.

Previous Report Thursday 6 October

Haiti

Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated from the path of the storm, which caused severe flooding and killed four people in the Dominican Republic, as well as at least 22 in Haiti.

The storm carved a path of devastation through western Haiti, destroying houses, dumping boats and debris on coastal roads, and heavily flooding residential areas.

Some 80 percent of homes were damaged in Haiti's Sud Department, which has a population of more than 700,000, a government official said in a meeting with UN officials. About 11,000 people were in shelters in the province.

Cuba

There were no immediate reports of deaths or casualties in Cuba, where the government had emphasised hurricane preparation. But Matthew did thrash the tourist town of Baracoa in the province of Guantanamo, gutting many houses.

USA: Mass Evacuation Ordered in South Carolina Ahead of Hurricane Matthew

Emergencies have been declared in South Carolina and eastern and central North Carolina and evacuation orders were issued in advance of the storm, which is likely to impact the Eastern Carolinas Friday and Saturday.

"While the strength of Matthew will fluctuate as it approaches the U.S. coast late this week, it will remain a powerful and dangerous hurricane with threats from storm surge flooding and high winds," according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

There is a chance Matthew makes landfall along multiple points from near the Florida Space Coast to near Cape Romain, South Carolina.

"Even if the eye of Hurricane Matthew remains just offshore, gusts to hurricane force can occur along the immediate Atlantic coast along with storm surge flooding," Kottlowski said.

Seas and surf will become dangerous with beach erosion and coastal flooding from Florida to North Carolina.

Small craft should remain secured in port and cruise and freight interests should consider rerouting their trips to avoid the monstrous seas that will develop. Offshore, seas can top 25 feet at the height of the storm.

Read more at www.accuweather.com & http://www.aljazeera.com/

Notes:

USA: All ICW bridges are suspending service while the evacuation and hurricane warnings are in effect.

In the US, President Barack Obama warned that the coming days would be dangerous and urged Americans to heed official advice.

See Noonsite's Weather Page and scroll down to the "Hurricane" section. There are lots of links to useful articles on hurricane preparation and aftermath.

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