Hurricane Matthew remains a powerful hurricane in the Caribbean Sea

The most powerful storm of the 2016 Atlantic season, Category 4 Hurricane Matthew was on a path that threatens Jamaica and Haiti Saturday afternoon.

The storm, which has been fluctuating between a Category 4 and Category 5 hurricane, on Sunday morning was tracking westerly at 5 miles per hour with sustained winds of 140 miles per hour.

Packing wind speeds of 150 miles (240 kilometers) per hour, the National Hurricane Center called Matthew "extremely unsafe".

The National Hurricane Center said Matthew was expected to turn toward the west-northwest later Saturday, followed by a turn toward the north-northwest on Sunday.

The hurricane - a risky category four Sunday morning - posed the biggest threats to Haiti and eastern Cuba, along with Jamaica and, possibly, the Bahamas.

Before it lost strength, it was a Category 5 and was the strongest storm in the Atlantic Ocean since Felix in 2007.

Service says that a hurricane warning is still in effect for Jamaica, as Hurricane Matthew has strengthened slightly and resumed its northwest motion towards Jamaica.

Matthew is forecast to begin moving toward Jamaica late Sunday and into Monday before passing over Cuba and approaching the Bahamas by Tuesday. "While we hope we never see a hurricane head our way, we all need to prepare for the possible effects".

It is expected to dump at least 15 to 25 inches of rain in southern Haiti "with possible isolated maximum amounts of 40 inches".

Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through Monday night.

"Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion", the hurricane center warned on its Facebook page. Haiti has already started evacuating its residents from high-risk areas as the storm could inflict widespread damage with flash floods and heavy winds.

The latest National Hurricane Center projection had Matthew reaching the southern tip of Haiti late Monday, but tropical storm conditions were expected to reach Jamaica and Haiti as soon as late Sunday and eastern Cuba early Monday.

It is feared the storm could move on to affect the Bahamas and the east coast of the United States, although the path is hard to predict.

"Families that evacuated are returning to their homes", said La Guajira Gov. Jorge Velez.

The hurricane center said it appeared to be on track to pass east of Florida through the Bahamas, but it was too soon to predict with certainty whether it would reach the USA coast.

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