- Title: Haiti braces for the worst as Hurricane Matthew approaches
- Date: 3rd October 2016
- Summary: LES CAYES, HAITI (OCTOBER 2, 2016) (REUTERS) PALM TREES BLOWING IN STRONG WIND STRONG SURF VARIOUS OF SURF CRASHING ON SHORE PALM TREES BATTERED IN WIND (SOUNDBITE) (Creole) AREA RESIDENT, LEONEL HYPOLITE, SAYING: "We're already living in misery. If the hurricane comes, our situation will get worse because there's no help here. We don't have resources or work." A SMALL RESTAURANT CLOSED BECAUSE OF THE STORM (SOUNDBITE) (Creole) RESTAURANT MANAGER, MITSOURA CONDE, SAYING: "We usually open every Sunday at three in the afternoon. Today it's like this because no patrons came. I think they're scared because we're close to the sea. It's really windy. I don't think the patrons are coming today." MORE OF RESTAURANT WHICH HAS BEEN CLOSED BECAUSE OF THE STORM A COASTAL HOUSE WHICH HAS BEEN EVACUATED PEOPLE SITTING OUTSIDE EXTERIOR OF THE SUD DEPARTMENT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS EMERGENCY CREW INSIDE THE BUILDING VARIOUS OF EMERGENCY WORKERS LAYING OUT PLANS AHEAD OF STORM (SOUNDBITE) (Creole) COORDINATOR FOR EMERGENCY OPERATIONS IN THE SUD DEPARTMENT, CLEDANOR WADSON MONTISINO, SAYING: "There are 187 provisional shelters in the Sud department which can take in a total of 30,000 people. Right now the teams are letting people know how to protect themselves." MORE OF EMERGENCY WORKERS PALM TREES BLOWING IN THE WIND A DOWNTOWN STREET IN THE CITY OF LES CAYES
- Embargoed: 18th October 2016 03:40
- Keywords: Haiti Hurricane Matthew hurricane storm
- Location: LES CAYES, HAITI
- City: LES CAYES, HAITI
- Country: Haiti
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,Wind/Hurricane/Typhoons/Tornadoes
- Reuters ID: LVA00152BBADJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Fears mounted in Haiti as Hurricane Matthew edged closer on Sunday (October 2), bringing 145 mile-per-hour (230 kph) winds and life-threatening rain that could wreak havoc in the Caribbean nation, where some 2,000 people in one coastal town refused to evacuate.
Matthew's centre is expected to near southwestern Haiti and Jamaica late on Monday (October 3), the U.S. National Hurricane Centre said.
Crawling towards Haiti's Les Cayes at 5 miles per hour (7 kph), the storm could be just as slow leaving, giving its winds and torrential rain more time to cause damage.
The storm comes at a bad time for Haiti. The poorest country in the Americas is set to hold a long-delayed election next Sunday.
"We're already living in misery. If the hurricane comes, our situation will get worse because there's no help here. We don't have resources or work," one Les Cayes resident, Leonel Hypolite told Reuters.
Haiti is vulnerable to disasters due to a combination of weak government and precarious living conditions. More than 200,000 people were killed when a 7-magnitude earthquake struck in 2010.
A restaurant owner near the sea said people had already stopped coming to her restaurant by Sunday.
"We usually open every Sunday at three in the afternoon. Today it's like this because no patrons came. I think they're scared because we're close to the sea. It's really windy. I don't think the patrons are coming today," Mitsoura Conde, said.
But Haitian officials said about 2,000 residents of the La Savane neighbourhood of Les Cayes refused to heed government calls to move out of their homes on the waters edge, despite being just a few miles from where the centre of the hurricane is forecast to make landfall.
Matthew was about 255 miles (415 km) southeast of Jamaica's Kingston on Sunday night, with a turn to the north expected overnight.
The hurricane centre ranked it at Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity.
Some streets were already flooded in Les Cayes, a town of about 70,000 people that was previously ravaged by hurricanes in 1781 and 1788.
Emergency workers at the Sud department's Emergency Operations were working to limit the toll and to educate residents on how to hunker down for the storm.
"There are 187 provisional shelters in the Sud department which can take in a total of 30,000 people. Right now the teams are letting people know how to protect themselves," the centre's coordinator, Cledanor Wadson Montisino said.
Poor Haitians are at times reluctant to leave their homes even when facing impending storms because of fears their belongings might get stolen when they leave.
Only a few families had opted to move to a high school in La Savane, designated as a shelter for up to 600 people.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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