Kingston/ Port-au-Prince, October 6: United Nations has stationed emergency response teams in Haiti and Jamaica for relief operations for the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean region.
The teams have been ordered to coordinate rapid assessments and support disaster response. Though the full extent of the impact remains unclear, the Haitian Government has reported that a number of lives have been lost and at least 350,000 people need immediate assistance.
The statement of UN spokesperson noted that the UN is in contact with the authorities across the region and stands ready to assist with response and recovery if required. The UN spokesperson informed that the entire southern parts of the country, including capital Port-au-Prince have been affected and the south-east tip of the island suffered the brunt of the hurricane.
A main bridge connecting the capital to the south was also swept away this afternoon cutting off access. The teams have been deployed from the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC), which is managed by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
On the ground, they are logistically supported by the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). UNDAC is part of the international emergency response system for acute emergencies. It was created in 1993 to help the UN and governments of disaster-affected countries during the first phase of a sudden-onset emergency.
In Cuba, more than 377,000 people were evacuated, 1,640 metric tonnes of food was pre-positioned in safe areas, and measures were taken to protect communities and infrastructure threatened by strong winds, rains, storm surge and floods.
Hurricane Matthew which landed on Southwestern Haiti on Tuesday, is a a category-4 storm—the strongest storm to hit the Caribbean nation in more than 50 years. Just after hours of the landfall of the Matthew, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrora diometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this natural-color image. At the time, Matthew had top sustained winds of about 230 kilometers (145 miles) per hour.