Hurricane Matthew claims first victims
HURRICANE Matthew claimed its first victims, officials said, leaving one person dead and another missing in Haiti as it churns through the Caribbean, the most menacing storm in nearly a decade.
Strong winds buffeted the southern coast of the Americas’ most destitute country, where flimsy homes and buildings leave residents particularly exposed to natural disasters.
More than 2000 people were evacuated to temporary shelters in the Grand Sud region as civil protection forces struggled with locals who refused to leave some of the most vulnerable areas.
They included the extremely impoverished, densely populated neighbourhoods of Cite Soleil –where some 100,000 of the total 500,000 residents face serious flooding risks – and the capital’s Cite L’Eternel by the sea.
The sea level kept rising on the southern side of Haiti’s side of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. In the third city of Cayes, sea water was reaching the streets, helped by heavy rains.
Flooding was also reported in some areas of Jamaica as the category 4 storm on the five-point Saffir-Simpson scale crept closer from the south, news reports said.
Cuba evacuated some 316,000 people from the east of the island. Cuba and the Bahamas also lie along the likely path of destruction.