PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – Overnight Saturday, the National Meteorological Center (CNM) raised the alert level from Orange to Red.
The President of the Republic, Jocelerme Privert, held an emergency high-level meeting Saturday afternoon with ministries, government agencies and the head of the United Nations stabilization mission. After that meeting, authorities visited the headquarters of the civil protection unit and was briefed on preparedness and contingency operations.
The U.S. Embassy in Haiti issued a warning for its citizens saying, “to locate shelter, monitor media reports, and follow all official instructions. U.S. citizens should carry their travel documents at all times (i.e. U.S. Passport, Birth Certificate, picture identification, etc.) or secure them in safe, waterproof locations. We also suggest that U.S. citizens contact friends and family in the United States with updates about their whereabouts.”
If the category 4 Hurricane Matthew continues on its current trajectory Haiti should start to feel the effects late Sunday evening starting with the South, Grande Anse and Nippes Departments. Then the Island of La Gonâve along with the West and Artibonite Departments. Northern departments also have a hurricane warning in effect.
Matthew will bring heavy rain, up to 2 feet. The storm surge is estimated at 3-5 feet in the Bay of Port-au-PRince and 6-9 feet along the southern coast line.
Residents in the interior should concern themselves with flash flooding, mudslides, lighting and intense gale force winds.
Government officials and agencies are mobilized and the security forces will remain on alert to coordinate response actions. Regional committees of civil protection were instructed to assist at-risk populations, whose cooperation is highly desirable in the application of safety regulations. Haitian authorities said they have placed moved medicines and hygiene kits close to the areas most at risk for damage.
The CPS said that in the South of 576 temporary shelters are available and can accommodate up to 88,252 people for a period of at least 3 days.
The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) will deploy its staff in reinforcement and a UN team to assess and coordinate disaster (UNDAC) will arrive on Sunday to Haiti to immediately deploy in the south.
Authorities provided the following directives to citizens:
- Stay tuned to weather bulletins
- Follow instructions issued by local authorities
- Put important documents in a safe place
- Prepare food kits
- Do not go out to sea, avoid beaches and coasts
- Secure all items and structures that can be carried by wind
- Stay clear of fallen antennas
- Do not attempt to cross flooded areas
- Be aware of landslides