The U.S. Navy has prepared a naval task force to assist countries impacted by Hurricane Matthew. The aircraft carrier George Washington, amphibious transport Mesa Verde, and hospital ship Comfort could provide food, water, and medical care to tens of thousands in the path of the Hurricane currently barreling through the Caribbean.

According to the Virginian-Pilot, the George Washington and Mesa Verde left Norfolk Naval Station on Monday, while the Comfort left Tuesday. The ships will likely head east, away from the hurricane, until the Pentagon can assess which countries need assistance. Disaster relief planners are particularly concerned about Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, where thousands of people still live in temporary housing six years after a devastating earthquake killed 230,000 people.

Currently off the north coast of Cuba, Matthew is moving northwest at 11 miles an hour, with wind gusts up to 145 miles an hour. The storm is now projected to miss most of the United States, turning east after it reaches northeast Florida.

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Image courtesy of US Navy

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