Matthew pum­mels Haiti and Cuba, evac­u­a­tions be­gin in US

The Myanmar Times - - World -

HUR­RI­CANE Matthew pum­melled Haiti and moved on to Cuba af­ter killing nine peo­ple, un­leash­ing floods and forc­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands to flee the Caribbean’s worst storm in nearly a decade.

Far to the north, the first evac­u­a­tions were or­dered in the US yes­ter­day as coastal res­i­dents pre­pared to es­cape the ap­proach­ing mon­ster storm, ex­pected off the East Coast later this week.

The death toll stood at nine – five in Haiti and four in the Do­mini­can Repub­lic – but was cer­tain to rise as Matthew bruised its way north.

The full scope of the dam­age, hu­man and ma­te­rial, re­mained un­clear.

Civil pro­tec­tion of­fi­cials in Haiti said they were strug­gling to com­mu­ni­cate with the south af­ter Matthew’s furious wind and rain blew down tele­phone lines.

A par­tial assess­ment of the dam­age, which ex­cluded the de­part­ment of Grande Anse, which was in the di­rect eye of the storm, in­di­cated that 14,500 peo­ple have been dis­placed and 1855 homes flooded. Those num­bers were ex­pected to in­crease.

Amer­i­cans girded for a taste of na­ture’s fury.

Florida, South Car­olina and parts of North Car­olina have de­clared states of emer­gency, and South Car­olina was evac­u­at­ing 1.1 mil­lion peo­ple from its coast, try­ing to get them at least 160 kilo­me­tres (100 miles) in­land.

Matthew made land­fall in Haiti shortly af­ter day­break as an “ex­tremely dan­ger­ous” Cat­e­gory Four storm – the max­i­mum is five – near the south­west­ern town of Les Anglais, pack­ing top winds of around 230km per hour, the NHC said.

It marked the first time in 52 years that a Cat­e­gory Four storm made land­fall in Haiti. –

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