By Tiffany Kuo
Making its way through the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Matthew has reached Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, the Bahamas, and the east coast of the United States, taking the lives of over 1,000 people during its three-week span.
Upon reaching the Caribbean Sea on Sept. 29, Matthew took the form of a full-blown windstorm and within 24 hours, it developed into a Category 5 hurricane with wind speeds reaching 160 miles per hour.
Haiti, a country still recovering from the 2010 earthquake, was one of the first locations impacted by Hurricane Matthew. According to United Nation’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Haitian government suspected that 350,000 people were in need of help. As the country faced food and water shortages due to the damages of the hurricane, Red Cross and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have appealed for over $11 million dollars in total to aid the country in recovery.
The hurricane traveled through the Guantanamo Province in Cuba, leaving floods and wind damage. The destruction prompted the Cuban government to issue a formal hurricane announcement to its eastern provinces and advise the residents to evacuate to storm shelters.
On Oct. 4, Hurricane Matthew encroached on the coast of Florida, killing four people within the state. Governor Rick Scott advised 1.5 million people residing in evacuation zones to leave as quickly as possible and employed 3,500 National Guard troops on search and rescue missions.
Moving to the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States, the storm severely impacted states such as North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia. 1.2 million people within these areas faced electricity shortages. Although, the storm died down on Oct. 9 to a Category 1 hurricane at 75 miles per hour, Matthew still left eight to 20 inches of rainfall as it coursed through North and South Carolina.
In Lumberton, North Carolina, 1,500 people were stranded in their homes due to still-water flooding, leaving residents to stand on roofs as a means to stay afloat. In response, Governor Pat McCrory has sent out rescue crews, helicopters, and ships to find and bring the individuals to safety.
Jerry Higgins, an officer of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety Public Information stated that “citizens should contact their local non-profit agencies, such as the American Red Cross, churches/places of worship, or contact their local county offices for contact information if they would like to donate resources to assist flood victims.”