Pow­er­ful Hur­ri­cane Matthew threat­ens Haiti, Ja­maica, Cuba

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

Hur­ri­cane Matthew moved slowly Sun­day across the Caribbean Sea on a track that author­i­ties warned could trig­ger dev­as­ta­tion in parts of Haiti.

The storm pro­duced winds of 145 mph as it moved north­west, and the cen­ter was ex­pected to pass across or very close to the south­west­ern tip of Haiti late Mon­day be­fore reach­ing Cuba, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Na­tional Hur­ri­cane Cen­ter in Mi­ami.

A hur­ri­cane warn­ing was in ef­fect for Ja­maica, Cuba and Haiti. Fore­cast­ers say the south­ern Haitian coun­try­side around Les Cayes could see the worst of it.

Matthew is one of the most pow­er­ful At­lantic hur­ri­canes in re­cent his­tory and briefly reached the top clas­si­fi­ca­tion, Cat­e­gory 5, be­com­ing the strong­est hur­ri­cane here since Fe­lix in 2007. The hur­ri­cane cen­ter said it ap­peared to be on track to pass east of Florida through the Ba­hamas, but it was too soon to pre­dict with cer­tainty whether it would reach the coast of the United States.

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