In response to Hurricane Matthew, Action Against Hunger has conducted rapid assessments in targeted areas in Northwest Haiti and in Artibonite to determine people’s most...
2016 Hurricane Matthew Crisis Response Archive
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The powerful weather system Hurricane Matthew made landfall across the Caribbean in the fall of 2016, causing serious damage and resulting in a rising number of casualties. It was the third strongest hurricane ever recorded in Haiti and the first category 4 to hit the country in the past 52 years. It was also the strongest hurricane in the Caribbean since Hurricane Felix in 2007.
On Sept. 28, the then-tropical storm impacted Barbados, Dominica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent, and the Grenadines. Then on the morning of Oct. 4, Hurricane Matthew made landfall in the Grand Anse and southern peninsula of Haiti as a category 4 hurricane, with heavy rain, strong winds and flooding. Winds up to 150 mph (240 km/h) barreled into southern coastal towns including Jeremie, Les Cayes, Port Salut, Damie Marie, and Jacmel causing major damage to infrastructure. Between 20 and 40 inches of rain were recorded across the southern peninsula, which combined with storm surge, caused major flooding across the entire region. Initial aerial assessments of the damage in Haiti that excluded the department of Grande Anse, which was indirect eye of the storm, indicated that 14,500 people had been displaced and 1,855 homes flooded.
According to early estimations, the hurricane claimed at least 800 lives in Haiti. As of late fall, emergency relief operations and assessments remained hindered following the collapse of a bridge cutting off the main road linking Port-au-Prince to the peninsula that makes up southern Haiti. In addition, overflowing rivers complicated efforts by assessment teams. The government of Haiti preliminarily announced that at least 350,000 people were in need of some kind of assistance following the disaster.
Hurricane Matthew also struck Cuba on Oct. 4 as a category 4 hurricane, primarily affecting the eastern areas of Guantanamo and Holguin. UN agencies in country worked with the government of Cuba to determine what assistance was needed. As of Oct.7, the government of Cuba had not requested international assistance.
The above numbers were estimates, based on information collected from Oct. 3 – 7, 2016.
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