Update: Preparing to respond as Hurricane Matthew makes landfall

Haiti, October 4, 2016

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  • The eye of Hurricane Matthew moves through the south central Caribbean Sea. Photo: Courtesy NASA/NOAA GOES Project

As hurricane Matthew makes landfall in Haiti, Mercy Corps is already hearing reports of destroyed homes and casualties.

We have 32 team members in Haiti and our team has been bracing for the storm and preparing to respond, including organizing assessment teams to deploy to hard-hit areas after the storm passes. We are worried about how few people know there is a storm coming, and have been reaching out to farmers associations and community groups we work with to spread the word and encourage people to seek shelter.

Matthew will likely cause damage to roads, as well as serious flooding of homes. We are particularly concerned about access to clean water and the likelihood of cholera. There have already been high rates of cholera this year and a significant amount of flood water and rain increases this risk severely.

“Based on our experience we anticipate the most pressing needs to be clean drinking water and shelter,” says Jessica Pearl, Haiti Country Director for Mercy Corps. “Haiti is not well-prepared for a major hurricane, and we are particularly concerned about people living in rural areas who are unlikely to be receiving preparedness or evacuation information.”

According to the National Hurricane Center, heavy rainfall from Hurricane Matthew will likely produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Mercy Corps is committed to empowering people around the world to survive through crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good.

Recognized as a leader in delivering rapid, lifesaving aid to hard-hit communities, Mercy Corps has responded to almost every global emergency in the past 20 years, including the Nepal earthquakes (2015), Philippines typhoon (2013), the Japan earthquake and tsunami (2011), Horn of Africa drought and hunger crisis (2010) and Kashmir earthquake (2005). Mercy Corps was also one of the first responders to the Indian Ocean tsunami (2004) and Haiti earthquake (2010).

Stay tuned to Facebook, Twitter and mercycorps.org for updates.

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