Hurricane Matthew is continuing its path through the center of the Caribbean region. Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic are already experiencing heavy rains and high speed winds, that are expected to worsen in the next 24 hours. Matthew has already passed through the Caribbean Coast of Colombia, leaving one person dead and several areas flooded in Magdalena and La Guajira.
Matthew remains a dangerous category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Evacuations are taking place, as 5 to 8 meter waves are expected in coastal areas. In the Dominican Republic more than 10,000 people have been evacuated. In Haiti, the government has set up shelters to assist 340,000 people. Haiti´s West department (including the capital Port-au-Prince) is considered highly vulnerable due to its population density and high levels of poverty.
Oxfam staff in Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic continue to monitor the hurricane and have been making preparations which include activating contingency plans, verifying humanitarian stock, and preparing teams to carry out immediate needs assessments. Oxfam has also contacted its partners and UN and government agencies at the national level in order to respond with due diligence and coordination to the aftermath.