• On 4 October 2016, Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 event with sustained winds of 230 km/h, made landfall in southwestern Haiti, with impact also on parts of Cuba, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas.
• Haiti was by far the most affected country. Early reports point to 473 confirmed deaths, with some unconfirmed reports putting this number at more than 1 000, and severe damage to at least 1 855 homes. About one-quarter of the expected total 2016 cereal crop is estimated to have been lost because of the Hurricane.
• Haiti’s cereal import requirements are expected to reach their highest level since the 2010 earthquake as a result of the anticipated production losses.
• It is estimated that 1.4 million people, or 13 percent of Haiti’s population, are in need of food assistance, of which 58 percent are in the most urgent need. FAO is seeking USD 9 million to provide urgently‑needed support to 350 000 affected people.
On 4 October 2016, Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 event with sustained winds of 230 km/h, made landfall in southwestern Haiti. The hurricane also impacted the southeast of Cuba, western provinces of the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas.
Of the four countries impacted by the Hurricane, Haiti was the most affected, and in particular the southwestern departments of Grand’Anse, Sud and Nippes that were directly in its path, exposing 960 000 people, or 9 percent of Haiti’s population, to winds with the speed of between 90 km/h to 120 km/h and storm surges. The rest of the country was exposed to winds of at least 60 km/h and excessive precipitation, particularly Sud-Est, Ouest, Artibonite and Nord‑Ouest departments. Early reports point to 473 confirmed deaths, with some unconfirmed reports putting this number at more than 1 000, and severe damage to infrastructure including bridges. An initial assessment by the Government of Haiti, FAO and other UN agencies points to severe losses to agriculture, particularly fruit trees and horticultural products in the most affected areas of Grand’Anse, Sud and Nippes and in Sud-Est Department. Severe crop losses in parts of Ouest Department have also been reported.
The total value of crop losses has been estimated by the Government and FAO at USD 360 million and damages to productive infrastructure, which includes, but not limited to, irrigation and fishing equipment, and stocks, at USD 178 million. In total, 1.4 million people are estimated to be in need of immediate humanitarian assistance.
In Cuba, the second most impacted country, the provinces of Guantanamo, Holguin and Las Tunas, accounting for some 1.6 million people or 13 percent of the national population, were the most affected. In the municipalities of Baracoa and Maisi in Guatanamo Province roads and bridges were destroyed by the Hurricane. In Baracoa, early reports point to 90 percent of the homes having suffered damage, ranging from partial to total destruction. Early reports also point to severe damage to agriculture in five provinces of Guantamo. No deaths have been reported due to the Hurricane and the more than 1 million people that were evacuated have already returned or are returning to their homes.
The Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic was impacted by excess precipitation, which resulted in flooding and landslides, with four people reported to have died. In total, 37 809 people were evacuated in nine provinces of the country’s 32. Fifty aqueducts/water systems in eight of the nine most affected provinces have been severely damaged. Water levels in creeks and rivers remain high.
In the Bahamas, the Government has rescinded all Hurricane-related restrictions. Two Hurricane‑related deaths were reported but not yet confirmed. The primary impact includes standing flood water, fallen trees, damaged roofs and downed electrical and communication lines. Agricultural livelihoods are also reported to have been affected.