Hurricane Matthew, the first Atlantic storm to swell to Category-5 since 2007, threatens much of the Caribbean this week, and could eventually impact Florida and South Carolina as well.
Diminished only slightly to a Category-4 hurricane since Friday, with sustained wind of 130 miles per hour, Matthew has already caused “torrents of rain” in Jamaica, according to NBC News. On Monday morning, its center remained well over 100 miles south of the island.
Haiti, where Matthew should make landfall by early Tuesday morning, is expected to take the most intense hit from the storm. As much as 40 inches of rain could cause severe flooding and mudslides. The country is still rebuilding its infrastructure after an earthquake and cholera outbreak together killed 210,000 people in 2010, CNN reports.
The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, and Cuba should also face severe impacts from the storm. The Bahamas face the highest storm surge, with 10 to 15 feet possible in some areas.
Evacuations began Sunday at the US Guantanamo Bay military base, home to about 6,000 service members, contractors, and their families in addition to 61 detainees. The Miami Herald reports that around 700 family members, non-essential personnel, and pets have left for Florida ahead of the storm’s arrival.
It’s difficult to closely predict Hurricanes beyond three days into the future. Right now, the NOAA National Hurricane Center anticipates that Matthew will track east of Florida, broadly in the direction of Georgia and South Carolina.
But it’s impossible to know precisely how powerful the storm will be at that point, or where exactly it will land. The National Hurricane Center anticipates the storm will remain a major hurricane through Wednesday, but has not released detailed projections for the following days, when it could strike the US.
Still, Florida Governor Rick Scott has called the storm “catastrophic” and encouraged residents to prepare for its arrival.
Stay with Business Insider for updates on Matthew’s progress and threats.