The most powerful Atlantic tropical storm in almost a decade arrived Tuesday in Haiti, where it could deliver yet another devastating humanitarian disaster to the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
As of 8 a.m. ET, Hurricane Matthew was a Category 4 storm with winds of 145 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. It hit Haiti just after 7 a.m., the Weather Channel reported.
— Joint Cyclone Center (@JointCyclone) October 4, 2016
Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste, director of the country’s Civil Protection Agency, told Associated Press: “It’s much too early to know how bad things are but we do know there are a lot of houses that have been destroyed or damaged in the south.”
— Plan International (@PlanGlobal) October 4, 2016
One resident too ill to leave their home was killed when waves struck in the town of Port Salut.
— InfoEmergencias (@InfoEmerg) October 4, 2016
Haiti’s Interim President Jocelerme Privert said earlier that some people at sea or who had not “respected alerts” had died, but he gave no figures.
Haitian officials say that about 1,300 emergency shelters have been built, enough to accommodate 340,000 people. Both airports in Haiti are closed.