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Hurricane Matthew Could Kill 1000 in Haiti, Jamaica as Category 4 Storm Tracks Landfall

Scientists say Matthew's tracking 1954's Hurricane Hazel which killed 1000 in Haiti along.

 

October 4, 2016

US damage from 1954's Hurricane Hazel in a museum display.

Matthew is expected to scrape western Haiti on Monday as a major storm bringing 145 mile per hour (230 kph) winds and life-threatening rain to the southern coast, while simultaneously lashing Jamaica.

Eastern Cuba also will feel bands of fierce wind and rains on Monday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. They added that Matthew is closely tracking Hurricane Hazel from 1954, which damaged North Carolina after killing 1000 people in Haiti.

The last time a Category 4 storm passed directly over Haiti was in 1954. This year, many thousands of people are still living in tents in Haiti, as a result of the great earthquake of 2010.

The storm was advancing northwest at 5 miles per hour (7 km per hour), located about 295 miles (475 km) southeast of Kingston on Sunday afternoon. The hurricane center ranked it at Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity.

Haiti and Jamaica implored residents in vulnerable coastal areas to evacuate and Cuba suspended flights on Sunday as Hurricane Matthew, the strongest storm to menace the Caribbean islands since 2007, spun slowly toward the region.

"Slow motion is almost always a bad thing for any land area impacted," said John Cangialosi, a hurricane specialist at the center, noting that the storm's devastating rains and winds will linger over the region.

Haiti and Jamaica implored residents in vulnerable coastal areas to evacuate and Cuba suspended flights on Sunday as Hurricane Matthew, the strongest storm to menace the Caribbean islands since 2007, spun slowly toward the region.

With tropical storm conditions expected to reach Haiti and Jamaica late on Sunday, officials in both countries urged residents to prepare. In Haiti, the prime minister's office issued a red alert warning for landslides, high waves and floods.

Matthew is the most powerful hurricane to form over the Atlantic since Felix in 2007 and as many as 40 inches (101 cm) of rain could fall on parts of southern Haiti. That could trigger deadly flash floods and mud slides, the Miami-based hurricane center said.

 

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