HAITI—As of Monday evening, Haiti and eastern Cuba are under a hurricane warning, with Haiti bearing the brunt of the storm in the next 36 hours. Jamaica and parts of the Dominican Republic have a tropical storm warning, while today the governors of Florida and North Carolina declared a state of emergency.
With winds already reaching over 220 kph (140mph), officials have urged residents in Haiti to move to shelters away from danger areas.
There has already been a confirmed death in Haiti, adding to a 16-year-old who was killed in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and a man Friday in Colombia.
“People who are impacted by things like flooding and mudslides hopefully would get out and relocate because that’s where we have seen loss of life in the past,” said senior hurricane specialist Richard Pasch from the US National Hurricane Centre in Miami.
“This is likely to be a humanitarian disaster [in Haiti],” stated meteorologist Ari Sarsalari from The Weather Channel, particularly as the country was hit with four tropical storms in 2008, with hundreds killed in Hurricane Hanna.
The situation in Haiti will be more severe because of severe rainfall, creating mudslides compounded by deforestation, while other areas of the Caribbean and Southeastern States prepare for the hurricane.
“I know my house could easily blow away. All I can do is pray and then pray some more,” said Ronlande Francois, interviewed by the Chicago Tribune in front of her tarp-walled shack where she lives with her unemployed husband and three children.
Canadian Global Response is actively monitoring the situation and has already been in contact with representatives in the region. More details about the specific disaster relief response to Hurricane Matthew will be made available, yet basic necessities such as clean water, food, and shelter will be provided.
You can also help those impacted by Hurricane Matthew by providing hope through the donation link below. Please consider making a financial difference that will be used to purchase these basic necessities for survivors and help in the relief process. These funds are being collected in anticipation of these needs, yet if they are not required they will be used to provide training in Cuba to help communities build resiliency.
Volunteer opportunities will also exist throughout the recovery process, with cleanup teams being called upon. We are requesting potential volunteers to contact the office by email or phone. Further service opportunities and information about disaster relief efforts in the Carribean in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew will be made available.
Photos: United States Naval Research Laboratory / NOAA satellite image / October 3, 2016 / CC license