Around 7 am EDT, Hurricane Matthew made landfall near Les Anglais, Haiti, just west of Les Cayes. The Tiburon Peninsula braced as the Category 4 hurricane brought sustained winds around 145 mph, gusting to 175 mph. This is the first major hurricane to make landfall in Haiti since Inez in 1966.
There were multiple casualties Monday in Haiti as Matthew approached. Two fishermen died in rough water early Monday off the tiny southwestern fishing town of Saint Jean du Sud. The body of one of the men was recovered off the nearby town of Aquin after he apparently drowned.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) activated a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to Haiti ahead of the storm. They pre-positioned supplies in Port-au-Prince, to ensure they are rapidly available to help communities affected by Matthew. These commodities include hygiene kits, plastic sheeting, kitchen sets, blankets, collapsible water containers, and water storage bladders. Before hurricane season, USAID also strategically pre-positioned emergency relief supplies-including shelter materials, blankets, hygiene kits, household items, and water purification equipment. USAID will continue to work with international partners to distribute critical relief supplies, manage emergency shelters and provide logistics support to humanitarian organizations. They are also providing supplies and aid in Cuba, Jamaica and the Bahamas.
The forecast for Haiti looks grim. Rainfall totals of 15 to 25 inches, with isolated 40 inch totals will be possible in southern Haiti and southwestern Dominican Republic. The rainfall will likely produce life-threatening flash flood and mudslides. The combination of a dangerous storm surge and large and destructive waves could raise water levels by as much as 10 to 15 feet in parts of Haiti, Cuba, and the Bahamas. A second landfall is expected Tuesday night on the eastern edge of Cuba.
For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Karissa Klos