The USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance yesterday deployed two disaster response teams to Haiti and Jamaica as Hurricane Matthew threatened to create serious damage to Haiti, Cuba and Jamaica.
The announcement comes as the National Hurricane Center’s forecast at 11 p.m. last night showed Hurricane Matthew 255 miles south, south east of Kingston and 325 miles south west of Haiti. On this forecast track, the NHC said the center of Matthew will approach Jamaica and southwestern Haiti on Monday and into Tuesday.
The storm was already packing winds of 145 mph and the USAID said in anticipation of the need, it has already strategically pre-positioned emergency relief supplies — including shelter materials, blankets, hygiene kits, household items, and water purification equipment — to ensure they are available to help any affected communities post Matthew.
The announcement comes as Jamaicans last evening began feeling the tropical storm effects of Hurricane Matthew. Its approach came with darkening of the sky above the country late yesterday afternoon as well as the appearance of what looked like a funnel cloud over the sea in Negril.
Rain also began falling over the island steadily into yesterday evening leading to early flooding on some roads in Kingston. A landslide in the Mount Industry district of Glengoffe, St. Catherine was also reported resulting in the partial blockage of the road as the government opened several shelters in St. Andrew and Kingston and announced the closure of schools for today and possibly Tuesday.
All Jamaicans living in low lying and flood prone communities were being urged to heed any evacuation warnings issued for Hurricane Matthew yesterday as all flights out of the Sangster International Airport were cancelled.