A powerful hurricane is moving across the Caribbean with wind speeds thought to be strong enough to destroy buildings.
Two MapAction volunteers have travelled to Jamaica as a prepositioned humanitarian mapping team in advance of Hurricane Matthew which is due to make landfall by Monday. Tropical storm warnings have also been issued for Haiti and Cuba.
MapAction’s assistance was requested by the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team. The joint MapAction-UNDAC team has travelled in advance of the storm in order to be on the ground and ready to respond before the impact is felt.
From Jamaica MapAction’s volunteers are closely monitoring and plotting the path of Hurricane Matthew, helping responders understand the likely impact before and after the storm passes. Being at the scene means they have access to the most up-to-date situational data and can identify quickly which communities have been worst affected.
MapAction has experience of prepositioning teams for past emergencies, including Typhoon Haiyan which caused significant loss of life and extensive damage in the Philippines in November 2013. This prepositioning of MapAction’s specialist skills proved invaluable in the case of Typhoon Haiyan as airports were closed and in many cases damaged following the storm, causing significant challenges and delays in accessing affected areas.