Hurricane Matthew, a powerful category 4 Atlantic hurricane, hit the south western tip of Haiti making landfall at about 11:00 GMT on Tuesday, 4 October, and then follow on to the east of Cuba and the Bahamas. Its maximum sustained wind is reported to equal 250 km/h and torrential rain as well as potential mudslides are expected to be triggered causing extensive damage in coastal areas.
In Haiti, casualties have been reported, but numbers are not confirmed. , More than 6,400 people have been evacuated to temporary shelters. According to the Haitian Government approximately 1,300 emergency shelters have been built to accommodate around 340,000 people.
The hurricane has already hit parts of Jamaica where heavy rain and winds caused floodwaters and is later expected to reach eastern Cuba where a hurricane alert is in place for six eastern provinces and where around 316,000 people have been evacuated from the east of the island. About 13,000 people were also evacuated from high-risk areas in neighbouring Dominican Republic which is also expected to get severely affected.
Inter-agency deployments and coordination
Haiti’s National Emergency Operations Centre (COUN) has been activated, as well as other departmental emergency centres. However, these entities do not have any generator capacity or satellite phones, which will impact communication with affected areas as communication means are expected to break down for 36 hours.
The National Emergency Operations Centres (COE) are active in several countries, including the Bahamas, Cuba,
Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica.
Jamaica has formally requested OCHA for assistance and United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) teams have arrived in Jamaica and Haiti and are supporting national efforts in coordination, rapid assessments, communication and reporting.
OCHA ROLAC is in contact with the UN Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams in Jamaica, Dominican Republic,
Cuba and OCHA Haiti and continues its contact with regional humanitarian partners (REDLAC) to share information about deployments and pre-positioning of stocks at the regional logistic hub.
IFRC has activated its Contingency Plan and pre-positioned staff in Jamaica.
USAID/OFDA has a team in Haiti and will provide NFI kits.
ECHO is actively monitoring the system and is ready for deployment.
The Logistics Cluster is deploying staff. Two Logistics Officers are already travelling to Panama.