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Civilians Scramble as Hurricane Matthew Slams the Caribbean

IN PICTURES: teleSUR takes a look at life in Haiti, Cuba and Jamaica as it reckons with the most violent storm the region has seen in a decade.

Haiti was slammed on Tuesday with 145 mile-per-hour winds and massive waves that flooded coastal towns, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. According to news reports, the Category 4 storm – the region's strongest in nearly a decade –claimed three deaths in Haiti and another in Jamaica.

Tens of thousands of people still live in tents in Haiti, which suffers conditions of extreme poverty that were sharply exacerbated by a 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people.

Meanwhile, as the worst storm since 1966's Hurricane Inez begins to veer toward Cuba, state evacuation systems have efficiently begun to come into effect. Cuba's high degree of coordination, organization, and extensive disaster preparedness – from Civil Defense bodies to students and parents – has spared it from some of the worst consequences that such storms are capable of bringing.

However, Cuban President Raul Castro issued a stark warning that Matthew should not be underestimated, noting that it was much stronger than the devastating Hurricane Sandy. "We have to prepare as if it has twice the power of Sandy," Granma newspaper quoted Castro as saying on a visit to the area.

teleSUR takes a look at life in a region known for giving birth to some of the world's most intense hurricanes and tropical storms as the people reckon with Hurricane Matthew.

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 A man poses for a picture on a wall next to the sea ahead of Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, Oct. 3, 2016.
A man poses for a picture on a wall next to the sea ahead of Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, Oct. 3, 2016. Photo:Reuters
People walk down the street while Hurricane Matthew approaches in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Oct. 3, 2016.
People walk down the street while Hurricane Matthew approaches in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Oct. 3, 2016. Photo:Reuters
A couple enjoy the view while Hurricane Matthew approaches Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 3, 2016. The text reads, "House for sale."
A couple enjoy the view while Hurricane Matthew approaches Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 3, 2016. The text reads, "House for sale." Photo:Reuters
A general view as Hurricane Matthew approaches Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 3, 2016.
A general view as Hurricane Matthew approaches Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 3, 2016. Photo:Reuters
People buy goods on the street while Hurricane Matthew approaches Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 3, 2016.
People buy goods on the street while Hurricane Matthew approaches Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 3, 2016. Photo:Reuters
People take their belongings to shelters prior to the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Siboney, Cuba.
People take their belongings to shelters prior to the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Siboney, Cuba. Photo:Reuters
A TV is left on the ground as it is transported to a shelter ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Siboney, Cuba.
A TV is left on the ground as it is transported to a shelter ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Siboney, Cuba. Photo:Reuters
Vendors sell their goods on the street while Hurricane Matthew approaches in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Oct. 3, 2016
Vendors sell their goods on the street while Hurricane Matthew approaches in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Oct. 3, 2016 Photo:Reuters
Yosvan Anaya speaks to a friend (not pictured) in a cave in a cliff face to be used as a shelter ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Siboney, Cuba.
Yosvan Anaya speaks to a friend (not pictured) in a cave in a cliff face to be used as a shelter ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Siboney, Cuba. Photo:Reuters
A motorcyclist drives in front of a church while Hurricane Matthew passes Port-au-Prince, Haiti October 4, 2016.
A motorcyclist drives in front of a church while Hurricane Matthew passes Port-au-Prince, Haiti October 4, 2016. Photo:Reuters
A saleswoman shows lamps to a customers while other people flock to the supermarket to take care of last minute shopping as Hurricane Matthew approaches in Kingston, Jamaica.
A saleswoman shows lamps to a customers while other people flock to the supermarket to take care of last minute shopping as Hurricane Matthew approaches in Kingston, Jamaica. Photo:Reuters
People wade through a flooded street while Hurricane Matthew passes, in Cite-Soleil in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 4, 2016.
People wade through a flooded street while Hurricane Matthew passes, in Cite-Soleil in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 4, 2016. Photo:Reuters
People try to move a water pump as the river is rising due to the rains caused by Hurricane Matthew passing, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 4, 2016.
People try to move a water pump as the river is rising due to the rains caused by Hurricane Matthew passing, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 4, 2016. Photo:Reuters
An army officer and Civil Defense volunteers check the beach in Siboney ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Cuba, Oct. 4, 2016.
An army officer and Civil Defense volunteers check the beach in Siboney ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Cuba, Oct. 4, 2016. Photo:Reuters
Baker Dimapico Gonzalez, 51, removes things from his home at the beach in Siboney ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew, Cuba, Oct. 4, 2016.
Baker Dimapico Gonzalez, 51, removes things from his home at the beach in Siboney ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew, Cuba, Oct. 4, 2016. Photo:Reuters
An army officer checks the beach in Siboney ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew, Cuba, Oct. 4, 2016.
An army officer checks the beach in Siboney ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew, Cuba, Oct. 4, 2016. Photo:Reuters
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