Hurricane Matthew Cuts A Path Through AOSIS Members in Caribbean

Hurricane Matthew has shifted toward another AOSIS Member, Bahamas, after causing extensive damage in Haiti, including the loss of the a bridge that connects the southern part of the country and forcing thousands to evacuate across the Caribbean.

Eastern Cuba was hit after and at present appears to have fared better, though reports are still coming in.

The northwestward turn will likely affect much of the Bahamas through Thursday and it may intensify with sea surface temperatures at more than one degree Celsius higher than average for this time of year.

The storm is responsible for a number of fatalities across the Caribbean, according to the Associated Press.

AOSIS member Turks and Caicos will also face impacts as the eye of the storm passes to their west.

As of Wednesday morning, Matthew was moving at about 6 kph, relatively slow moving, which increases the chance of severe flooding and erosion.

Recent experience with tropical storms has demonstrated that the damage inflicted can take months or even years to rebuild. Cyclone Winston, which hit Fiji earlier this year wiped out approximately 10 percent of the country’s GDP in a matter of hours.

A situation report yesterday from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs identified at least 300,000 people in Haiti in need of assistance and over 600,000 in shelters across the region. Follow @AOSISChair and @OCCHA on Twitter for updates and information on how to help in the coming days.