By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Mon. Oct. 3, 2016: Hurricane Matthew was just 275 miles south west of Haiti at 11 a.m. this morning and 205 miles south east of Kingston as forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami say the storm could bring life threatening rain, wind and storm surge to portions of Haiti.
The powerful category four hurricane continued moving toward the north near 6 mph and packing 140 mph winds. On this track, the center of Matthew is forecast to approach southwestern Haiti tonight, move near eastern Cuba late Tuesday, and move near or over portions of the southeastern and central Bahamas Tuesday night and Wednesday, the NHC said.
Hurricane conditions are expected to first reach Haiti tonight, eastern Cuba Tuesday, and the southeastern Bahamas late Tuesday. Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach Haiti this afternoon, eastern Cuba tonight, and the southeastern Bahamas early Tuesday, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous.
Matthew is expected to produce total rainfall amounts in Southern Haiti and southwestern Dominican Republic of 15 to 25 inches, some 40 inches in Eastern Cuba and northwestern Haiti; 8 to 12 inches in Eastern Jamaica, 5 to 10 inches in Southeastern Bahamas and 8 to 12 inches in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Northeastern Haiti and the Dominican Republic could get 1 to 3 inches of rain while Western Jamaica, 1 to 2 inches.
Life-threatening flash floods and mudslides are likely from this rainfall in southern and northwestern Haiti, the southwestern Dominican Republic, and eastern Cuba.
The storm surge is also expected to be very high, reaching 7 to 11 feet on the Southern Coast of Cuba east of Cabo Cruz and 7-10 feet on the South Coast of Haiti. Central and southeastern Bahamas could see storm surge of 10 to 15 feet and Jamaica, 1-2 feet.
The USAID has said in anticipation of the need, it has already strategically pre-positioned emergency relief supplies — including shelter materials, blankets, hygiene kits, household items, and water purification equipment — to ensure they are available to help any affected communities post Matthew.
A hurricane warning remains in effect for Haiti, Jamaica, the Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma and Las Tunas and Southeastern Bahamas, including the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, and Ragged Island. A hurricane watch is in effect for the Cuban province of Camaguey, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Central Bahamas, including Long Island, Exuma, Rum Cay, San Salvador and Cat Island.