Hurricane Matthew hits packing 230km/h winds

2016-10-04 15:56
A girl watches as authorities arrive to evacuate people from her house in Tabarre, Haiti. (Dieu Nalio Chery, AP)

A girl watches as authorities arrive to evacuate people from her house in Tabarre, Haiti. (Dieu Nalio Chery, AP)

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Port-au-Prince - Hurricane Matthew made landfall in southwestern Haiti early on Tuesday, crashing ashore as a powerful Category Four storm, US weather forecasters said.

The National Hurricane Center said Matthew made landfall as an "extremely dangerous" storm near the village of Les Anglais at around 07:00 with maximum sustained winds of around 230km/h.

The most menacing storm in nearly a decade, Matthew battered Haiti overnight with strong winds and rising sea levels.

Even before it crashed on shore, news reports said Matthew was responsible for three deaths.

The hurricane has caused extensive flooding in and around the flimsy homes and buildings in Haiti's southwest and is moving inland in a northward direction at around 15km/h, the NHC said.

"On the forecast track, the eye of Matthew will move near eastern Cuba later today, and move near or over portions of the southeastern and central Bahamas tonight and Wednesday, and approach the northwestern Bahamas on Wednesday night," the Miami-based weather service said.

More than 6 400 people have been evacuated to temporary shelters in Haiti, although civil protection forces have struggled with locals who refused to leave some of the most vulnerable areas.

They included the capital's extremely impoverished, densely populated neighbourhoods, including Cite Soleil - where about  100 000 of the total 500 000 residents face serious flooding risks - and the seaside Cite L'Eternel.

Read more on:    cuba  |  haiti  |  weather  |  hurricanes  |  hurricane matthew

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