The Category 4 storm, which had sustained winds of 140 mph Monday morning has killed at least three people, caused cruise ships to change course and prompted the governors of Florida and North Carolina to declare states of emergency for coastal areas.
Rain and wind thrashed Haiti on Monday night and up to 40 inches of rain could be dumped on the impoverished nation still recovering from a 2010 earthquake.
“This rainfall will likely produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides,” the US National Hurricane Center said. “Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.”
As the storm continues its trajectory, several major cruise lines have announced itinerary changes for ships sailing in and out of the Caribbean this week.
Carnival Cruise Line has canceled all ports of call in Half Moon Cay and Nassau and replaced them with a visit to Key West and Freeport. The changes will affect at least six ships sailing this week, reports Cruise Critic. The cruise line is giving passengers a 25 percent future cruise discount and $100 voucher to use onboard. Carnival is also offering full refunds to those whose original itineraries have been changed and wish to cancel.
Matthew is “just an absolute powerhouse,” said Ari Sarsalari, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel. And besides Haiti, it will be “a really nasty storm in Jamaica and eastern Cuba,” he said.
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Source: NBC News, CNN, Fox News