Haiti has begun evacuating residents from high-risk areas ahead of Hurricane Matthew, which is expected be one of the region's strongest in almost a decade.

The hurricane, which threatens to wreak widespread damage with flash floods and winds of up to 150mph, is expected to hit Haiti and Jamaica on Monday.

Residents in Haiti's outlying islands have been evacuated, and boating has been banned.

Locals hurriedly stocked up on emergency supplies ahead of the hurricane, which is expected to bring up to 101cm (40 inches) of rain to the island.

Residents in Jamaica stock up on emergency supplies at a supermarket. Credit: Reuters

In Jamaica, prime minister Andrew Holness urged citizens to make preparations before it is too late.

Supermarkets in the capital Kingston were crammed with residents seeking essential supplies.

Hurricane Matthew is expected to bring up to 64cm (25 inches) of rain to Jamaica, and batter tourist areas around the island including Montego Bay in the north.

Workers cover the windows at a building ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Kingston, Jamaica. Credit: Reuters

The Hurricane is expected to reach Cuba on Tuesday. The US Navy said in a statement that non-essential personnel, including about 700 military family members, are being evacuated from its base in Guantanamo Bay.

Cuban President Raul Castro travelled to the city of Santiago de Cuba to supervise preparations ahead of the hurricane.