HAVANA – CARE’s team in Cuba is on alert as Hurricane Matthew heads north after battering vulnerable communities in Haiti.
The Category 4 Hurricane is expected to hit the eastern provinces of Cuba late Tuesday into early Wednesday morning. CARE has been in contact with local Cuban authorities to potentially provide support if needed.
“While the Cuban government has done a good job preparing for Matthew, this is an extremely powerful hurricane,” says Richard Paterson, country representative for CARE in Cuba. “Affected communities will need food, water and shelter support. We know many homes and buildings are vulnerable to high winds, especially in the rural areas, particularly those with older and weaker roofs. ”
Cuban residents have been busy preparing for the upcoming storm, boarding up homes and storefronts and Cuban Civil Defense has been pruning tree limbs to avoid hitting electricity lines. Cuban authorities have also evacuated residents from particularly vulnerable coastal areas.
CARE’s team in the eastern provinces report that the scene is relatively calm in advance of Matthew, but people are anxious, remembering Hurricane Sandy from 2012, which hit the same region.
CARE has been active in Cuba for more than two decades with programming focused on food, water and sanitation, disaster risk reduction, humanitarian assistance, and gender equality. CARE is familiar with the emergency needs of provinces facing Hurricane Matthew, having worked in these communities through local partners following Hurricane Sandy.
Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti this morning pounding communities with winds exceeding 230 km/h and heavy rainfall. CARE’s team on the ground in the affected region reported flooding and fear the impact of rainfall exceeding one metre could have on local water supplies.
Holly Frew, +1 404-979-9389, email@example.com
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing lifesaving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE places special focus on women and children, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. To learn more, visit www.care.org.