Hurricane Matthew roars ashore in Haiti as US evacuations feared Express News
Hector Retamal | AFP | Getty Images
A woman protects herself from the rain with plastic after hurricane Matthew, in Port-au-Prince, on October 4, 2016.
Weather Channel meteorologist Kevin Roth warned that Matthew could swamp Haiti’s low-lying areas with up to 20 inches of rain and dump up to 40 inches in the mountains.
Matthew made landfall in Haiti just after 7 a.m. Tuesday as a category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph, the Weather Channel reported.
Government officials and aid workers had set up a number of shelters in the major cities and pleaded with residents to low-lying areas to use them, Chris Bessey, country representative at Catholic Relief Services in Port-au-Prince, told NBC News. But many, more fearful of looters than the storm, refused to leave their properties.
“They’re hunkered down,” Bessey added. “They’re right in the middle of it.”
Chantal Elie, a political analyst who huddled with her husband and two kids in their home, about 8 miles south of Port-au-Prince, said “trees are falling like crazy.”
Elie said she ventured out of her house briefly to survey the damage, but the winds were too strong to stay outside for long.
“My daughter is very worried,” she told NBC News. “She told me, ‘Mom, I can’t die right now because I have to finish school. I’m too young.'”
Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste, the director of the country’s Civil Protection Agency, told The Associated Press they’re bracing for the worst.