Hurricane Matthew slams Haiti, takes aim at US East Coast
By DAVID MCFADDEN
PETIT-GOAVE, Haiti (AP) – Hurricane Matthew slammed into Haiti’s southwestern tip with howling, 145 mph winds Tuesday, tearing off roofs in the poor and largely rural area, uprooting trees and leaving rivers bloated and choked with debris. At least nine deaths were blamed on the storm during its week-long march across the Caribbean.
Forecasters said Matthew could hit Florida toward the end of the week and push its way up the East Coast over the weekend. The forecast triggered a rush by Americans to stock up on food, gasoline and other emergency supplies.
The dangerous Category 4 storm – at one point the most powerful hurricane in the region in nearly a decade – blew ashore around dawn in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, hitting a corner of Haiti where many people live in shacks of wood or concrete blocks. It unloaded heavy rain as it swirled on toward a lightly populated part of Cuba and the Bahamas.
Damage in the hardest-hit part of Haiti appeared to be widespread, but because of spotty communications, blocked roads and washed-out bridges, the full extent was not immediately clear. Nor was the number of deaths.
The country’s Civil Protection Agency said many homes were damaged or destroyed.
“It’s the worst hurricane that I’ve seen during my life,” said Fidele Nicolas, a civil protection official in Nippes, just east of where Matthew came ashore. “It destroyed schools, roads, other structures.”
At least three deaths were blamed on the storm in Haiti, including one person whose home was crushed by a tree in Port Salut and a 26-year-old man who drowned trying to rescue a child who had fallen into a rushing river, authorities said. The child was saved.
Four deaths were recorded in the neighboring Dominican Republic and one each in Colombia and in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
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Oct 4, 2016
Category: DR News |