At least 2,000 people in a coastal town in Haiti have refused to evacuate, despite the looming threat of Hurricane Matthew that is expected to make landfall on Monday (3 October) night. The Caribbean's expected strongest storm is forecast to bring 130mph (215kph) winds and torrential rain to Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas.

It is creeping towards Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba at a pace of five miles per hour (7km), which means that it will also take its time to leave and increase the time it has to cause damage after making landfall.

The deadly conditions are coming at a bad time for Haiti, which was due to hold a delayed election on Sunday (9 October).

Ronald Semelfort, director of Haiti's national meteorology centre, told Reuters: "We are worried about the slow pace of Hurricane Matthew, which will expose Haiti to much more rain, and the country is particularly vulnerable to flooding."

Haiti's resistance to national disasters is particularly vulnerable. In 2010, an earthquake killed more than 200,000 people due to weak infrastructure and lack of proper disaster-risk management.

Despite the threat, officials in Haiti said that at least 2,000 residents in Les Cayes had refused to obey government orders to evacuate from their seaside homes. The people in the neighbourhood of La Savane are just a few miles away from where the centre of Hurricane Matthew is due to make landfall.

"The police and local authorities and our evacuation teams have been instructed to do all they can to move those people," said Interior Minister Francois Anick Joseph. "They have also been instructed to move them by force if necessary. We have an obligation to protect those people's lives, even against their will."

Hurricane Matthew
Satellite shows Hurricane Matthew's clear eye as the storm moved through the south central Caribbean Sea on 2 October 2016 Reuters

It is believed that poorer people in Haiti are reluctant to leave their homes out of fear that their possessions will be stolen. A few families did move to the school in La Savane that had been set up as a shelter for 600 people, however, even this was left without electricity as the storm approached.

Police have expressed concerns about how they would force such a large number of people to evacuate against their will, noting that the power cut off had only made it more difficult. A number of streets in Les Cayes were also flooded already.

Luc Pierre, chief police of the southern region, said: "I would have to arrest all those people and take them to a safe place. This is very difficult."

Hurricane Matthew has been ranked a Category Four hurricane, which is the second highest level of intensity. Officials in Jamaica and Cuba are also rushing to evacuate people, with hurricane warnings also in place throughout the Bahamas.