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Hurricane Matthew as seen from space. (NASA image)

By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Mon. Oct. 3, 2016: Category four storm Hurricane Matthew is on track to slam Haiti tonight and through early tomorrow morning according to the National Hurricane Center. Here are 8 fast facts you should know about Matthew’s position now:

1: Hurricane Matthew is on track to hit Haiti.

As of 11 p.m. EST, Matthew was 100 miles south of Tiburon Haiti and about 190 Miles south-west of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. On the forecast track, the center of Matthew will approach southwestern Haiti tonight and Tuesday morning with maximum sustained winds near 145 mph, with higher gusts forecast. Matthew is expected to produce total rainfall amounts in Southern Haiti and southwestern Dominican Republic of 15 to 25 inches and 40 inches in isolated areas. Life threatening flash floods and mudslides are likely from this rainfall in southern and northwestern Haiti.

2: Matthew is  the strongest Atlantic hurricane in almost a decade.

Hurricane Matthew is the strongest storm to threaten the Caribbean since Hurricane Felix in 2007. Hurricane Felix was the southernmost land-falling Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic; surpassing Hurricane Edith of 1971. At least 133 deaths are attributed to Felix. It is set to move near eastern Cuba late Tuesday, and move near or over portions of the southeastern and central Bahamas Tuesday night and Wednesday. Life threatening flash floods and mudslides are likely from this rainfall are also likely in the southwestern Dominican Republic and eastern Cuba.  Hurricane conditions are possible in the northwestern Bahamas on Thursday, with tropical storm conditions possible on Wednesday and in Cuba and the Turks and Caicos Islands by Tuesday night with tropical storm conditions possible on Tuesday. Tropical storm conditions will remain in portions of Jamaica and along the southern coast of the Dominican Republic within the warning area tonight but the storm appears to have spared Jamaica its wrath.

3: Matthew Is Slow Meaning It Will Bring Much More Rain And Flooding.

Hurricane Matthew is moving slowly at just 7 mph, making it worst because it is lingering and will bring more rain and flooding. A foot of water is already on some of the roads in Jamaica, flooding the streets and creating damage. In Haiti, flooding was already reported in Les Cayes, a coastal city of 70,000 people. In Jamaica, some roads in Kingston reported early flooding.

4: The Storm Has Already Claimed Lives.

Hours before the storm was due to arrive late Monday, a victim was reported in Haiti. The first Haitian victim is a fisherman from Saint Jean de Sud whose body was found Sunday according to the Haiti Civil Protection Agency. And in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a teenage boy died in a landslide as he was cleaning a drain behind his house, according to Michelle Forbes, deputy director for the National Emergency Management Office. The boy died after storms from Matthew passed over the island.

5: Cruises Lines Have Rerouted

Multiple cruise lines have rerouted some trips to get out of Matthew’s path. Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Princess and Carnival have rerouted trips, with more changes possible.

6: Airlines Can Flights

All flights have been cancelled flights to Jamaica and Haiti already. Southwest Airlines canceled all Monday service to Montego Bay as did Caribbean Airlines and American Airlines. Southwest’s scheduled service to and from Nassau, Bahamas, through Oct. 5 may be disrupted as well, which means flights may be delayed, diverted, and/or cancelled,” airline officials said in a statement. Delta also cancelled flights to Jamaica as well as Haiti, Turks & Caicos and The Bahamas through October 6th.

7: Caribbean American Congresswoman Weighs In On Matthew.

Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette Clarke is urging “people of good will” to commence organizing disaster relief efforts in anticipation of the inevitable call to action. In Florida, at least one group has answered this call. Marjorie Lozama of the Haitian American nurses association is already leading the effort to get medication and supplies to treat wounds.  The group is looking for pain relievers, antibiotic pills and ointment, wound care supplies, pedialite, baby formula and gently worn clothes for Haitians who are likely to be impacted by Matthew.  If you’d like to help you can call 305-912-1757.

 8: Matthew Brings Out Some Jamaican Humor

Some Jamaicans took to social media to share humor about Matthew as the country moved from hurricane warning to tropical storm warning yesterday. Check out this humorous take on the storm here:

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