Dutch man hunkers down as hurricane Matthew approaches Haiti

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No image availableNL Times

Dutch man Johan Smoorenburg and 160 orphan children are hunkered down and waiting for hurricane Matthew to hit Haiti, he said to RTL Nieuws. Smoorenburg runs a shelter village for orphans 15 kilometers outside Port-au-Prince.

According to Smoorenburg, the rain is already pouring down and trees and polls are being waved back and forth by the wind. "This hurricane really is a monster." he said to the broadcaster. "But it's still relatively quiet when you consider what is to come." He emigrated to Haiti 35 years ago for missionary work.

"My house and the houses of the children are sturdy and safe", he said. "For us I am not very afraid. We have enough supplies for all of us to survive a week hear and have a small clinic with bandages and medicines. But for the people who live on the south side, I am really afraid. They live very close to the sea and on the other side are mountains. Those people can not move. It can become a huge disaster there."

The biggest dangers facing the the children and staff in the shelter village are boards and trees blown about by the wind. "And the water: here everything is already under water if it rains hard once." Everyone in the village is staying inside. Johan checks the television and internet to track the progress of the biggest to hit the Caribbean in nearly a decade.

According to Johan, the kids aren't all that concerned yet. "Perhaps they don't realize yet. Furthermore, people here still often have the mentality of: if it comes, we'll see." He himself is a bit less relaxed, but staying calm. "I just hope it's not as bad as we expect. But it does not look good", he said to the broadcaster.