Hurricane Matthew, the lethal and imposing Category 4 hurricane, made landfall on the Tiburon Peninsula on the southwestern coast of Haiti at 7 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
This marks the first Category 4 hurricane to hit Haiti since Hurricane Cleo in 1964.
The impoverished Caribbean island is expected to suffer devastating damage and loss of life from the hurricane with sustained winds of 145 mph and moving at 9 mph. In addition to the gail-force winds, Hurricane Matthew is predicted to bring 40 inches of rain to Haiti, which could trigger “life-threatening flash floods and mudslides,” according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The water levels along the southern coasts of Haiti and Cuba could swell more than 11 feet above the high tide line, bringing “large and destructive waves.”
So far, Haiti’s civil protection agency has reported only one death, a fisherman who drowned in rough water. That raised Matthew’s death toll to at least three. One man died in Colombia and a teen was killed in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, is still struggling since it was leveled on Jan. 12, 2010 by a magnitude-7 earthquake that destroyed the capital of Port-au-Prince and resulted in 230,000 people dying. It is estimated that 50,000 people have been living outdoors since the 2010 earthquake.
Matthew will continue traveling north on a path towards the East Coast of the United States.
“On the forecast track, the eye of Matthew will move near eastern Cuba later [on Tuesday], and move near or over portions of the southeastern and central Bahamas [on Tuesday night] and Wednesday, and approach the north-western Bahamas on Wednesday night,” the National Hurricane Center said.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency.
Senior Hurricane Specialist Richard Pasch says Florida residents should remain vigilant because they can’t “rule out the possibility of impacts.”
North Carolina Governor declared a state of emergency for 66 counties in central and eastern North Carolina. Hurricane Matthew is expected to be off the coast of the Carolinas as a Category 2 storm as soon as Friday.
Matthew is a Category 4 hurricane which means winds of 130-156 mph; severe damage to well-built homes, and most trees snapped or uprooted.
To understand the scope and the massiveness of the Hurricane Matthew, here’s the ginormous storm blanketing Earth as seen from the International Space Station 250 miles above our planet.