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Haiti: Handicap International prepares response as powerful Hurricane Matthew nears landfall

Emergency
Haiti

One of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in recent years is expected to cause flooding and landslides when it passes by Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti on Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th October. Handicap International teams in Haiti are preparing to provide assistance to the victims of this potentially devastating natural disaster.

Handicap International’s teams are preparing to provide assistance to local populations as hurricane Matthew hits Haiti / Stock photos

Handicap International’s teams are preparing to provide assistance to local populations as hurricane Matthew hits Haiti / Stock photos | © W.Daniels / Handicap International

Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 storm, could potentially affect thousands of people. With winds predicted to reach 259 km per hour, the hurricane could cause heavy rain, flooding and landslides in Haiti, particularly in the country’s southern peninsula, where almost 1,000 people have already been evacuated by the authorities on Sunday evening.

The Haitian authorities have urged people to stock up on food and water and secure their homes. Thousands are still living in tents following the huge earthquake in 2010.

Hurricane Matthew, ranked at Category 4 of the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity, threatens to make landfall in Jamaican, Cuba and Haiti on Monday 3 and Tuesday 4 October, potentially affecting thousands of people. With winds predicted to reach 259 km per hour, the hurricane could cause heavy rain, flooding and landslides in Haiti, particularly in the country’s southern peninsula, where almost one thousand people have already been evacuated by the authorities on Sunday evening.

"Hurricanes cause casualties and damage homes, crops and roads, and generally have a very serious impact on the most vulnerable people, particularly those living in makeshift housing and in isolated regions," explains Jean-François Michel, the manager of Handicap International’s operations in Haiti.

"We have taken measures to shelter our teams from a potential disaster, and have maintained our response capacity in order to provide support to the victims of this hurricane. Our teams in Europe are also on stand-by if we need to deploy more emergency staff to the region.”

Keeping the most vulnerable people informed

Present in Haiti since 2008, Handicap International has provided support to tens of thousands of victims of the earthquake of January 2010.

We have also implemented natural disaster risk reduction projects in association with the Civil Protection Department in several of the country’s counties for a number of years. The goal is to help the most vulnerable people prepare for the onset of a natural disaster and to protect themselves from it.

Emergency appeal

Handicap International UK has launched an emergency appeal to support disabled and vulnerable people affected by the disaster in Haiti.

Please donate online now or text HIUK01 £5 to 70070.

Date published: 03/10/16

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