Hurricane Matthew was an extremely powerful, long lived and deadly tropical cyclone which became the first Category 5 Atlantic Hurricane since Hurricane Felix in 2007. Matthew wrought widespread destruction and catastrophic loss of life during its journey across the Western Atlantic, including parts of Haiti, Cuba, Dominican Republic, the Lucayan Archipelago, the southern-eastern United States, and the Canadian Maritimes. At least 1044 deaths have been attributed to the storm; 1000 in Haiti, 1 in Columbia, 4 in Dominican Republic, 1 in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and 38 in the United States, making it the deadliest Atlantic Hurricane since Stan in 2005, which killed more than 1600 in Central American and Mexico. Hurricane Matthew has been one of the costliest hurricane with damages costing over US$5.2 billion.
Originating from a tropical wave that emerged off Africa on September 22, Matthew developed into a strong tropical storm upon approaching the Windward Islands on September 28. It intensified enormously as the cyclone tracked across the Caribbean Sea. Matthew became a hurricane on September 29 and reached Category 5 intensity the following day. It negligibly weakened as it curved slowly towards, remaining a strong Category 4 Hurricane even then. Matthew emerged into the Atlantic shortly afterwards, completing a transition into an extratropical cyclone on October 9.
Matthew initially entered the Caribbean Sea as a strong tropical storm. The winds caused widespread power outages and severe crop destruction, particularly in the St. Lucia area while the rains flooded and caused landslides. Over 1 million people in Cuba had to evacuate and numerous shelters had to be built to house everyone. Jamaica avoided significant impacts, Haiti experienced major impacts, including more than US$1 billion in damage and at least 1,000 deaths.
Hurricane Matthew continues to wreak havoc as flooding continues to threaten parts of North Carolina on Wednesday, NBC news reported. The Tar crested later on Wednesday and the Greenville authorities had to evacuate over 9000 people. NBC meteorologist Bill Karins said had it will be well into the weekend before the rivers in North Carolina show drop in water levels.
Latest update on Thursday night declared that Matthew is no longer a hurricane but is now a post-tropical cyclone, as reported by CNN weather. Still effects of the cyclone can be significantly felt in parts of North Carolina.