Haiti is bracing up for one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in recent years bringing winds, rains and storm surges the bbc reports.
Hurricane Matthew, a Category Four storm, is projected to hit the western tip of Haiti early on Tuesday.
Haiti has suffered one of the worst natural disasters including hurricanes and earthquakes. Hurricane Matthew makes it the 58th recorded natural disaster in the country.
However, ahead of the strom, life threatening conditions are already being witnessed in Haiti according to the US National Hurricane Center.
Interim Haitian President Jocelerme Privert said a number of people had already been killed.
“We’ve already seen deaths. People who were out at sea. There are people who are missing. They are people who didn’t respect the alerts. They’ve lost their lives,” he said.
The fast-approaching Matthew could bring up to 40in (102cm) of rain and winds of 145mph (230km/h), potentially triggering mudslides and flash floods.
Its centre is forecast to hit Haiti’s south-western tip around dawn.
Haiti is one of the world’s poorest countries and many residents live in areas prone to flooding.
“We are looking at a dangerous hurricane that is heading into the vicinity of western Haiti and eastern Cuba,” said Richard Pasch, a specialist with the US National Hurricane Center.
“People who are impacted by things like flooding and mudslides hopefully would get out and relocate because that’s where we have seen loss of life in the past.”
Authorities have urged people to stock up on food and water and secure their homes. Thousands are still living in tents following a huge earthquake in 2010.
The mayor of Haiti’s largest slum in the capital Port-au-Prince, Frederic Hislain, called on the government to evacuate some 150,000 people whose homes are threatened.
Haitian officials say that about 1,300 emergency shelters have been built, enough to accommodate 340,000 people. Both airports in Haiti are closed.
But some Haitians have refused to go to shelters, fearful of having their possessions stolen.
One local in Port-au-Prince, however, said the community would unite in the face of the storm’s danger.
“We are communicating amongst ourselves thanks to our own means. We will tell the people how the situation is. If things are bad then we will come together.”
Read more on: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-37549219