Hurricane Matthew: At least 100 people killed in Haiti devastation

Hurricane Matthew has left 108 people dead in Haiti, the interior minister has told AFP news agency.

One local official, speaking to AFP, said 50 people had died in the southern town of Roche-a-Bateau alone.

New images from remote and cut off areas in the south-west of the country show scenes of devastation.

The hurricane has again been upgraded to a Category Four storm, the second highest hurricane classification, as it heads for the US state of Florida.

Hurricane Matthew – the most powerful Caribbean storm in nearly a decade – is currently pounding the Bahamas, after slicing through Haiti and Cuba.

Haiti has seen some of the worst of the devastation, with the south-west largely cut off after the collapse of a key bridge on Tuesday.

An earlier death toll given by Haiti’s civil protection service stood at 23, but as emergency services gained access to some of the more remote areas on Thursday, the number rose rapidly to more than 100.

“The whole southern coast of Haiti, from the town of Les Cayes to Tiburon, is devastated,” Pierre-Louis Ostin told the AFP news agency.

Aerial images from the town of Jeremie show hundreds of homes flattened.

It was “pretty much wiped out from the seaboard all the way to the cathedral”, a radio host in Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince told the BBC on Thursday.

“The devastation that we are seeing is horrible…The town is really in dire straits and it’s very, very bad down there.”

The authorities say early assessments show nearly 2,000 homes were flooded and at least 10 schools were damaged across the country, the French Itele website reports.

Haiti’s presidential election due this weekend has been postponed because of the hurricane.

The country is one of the world’s poorest, with many residents living in flimsy housing in flood-prone areas.

Four people also died in the storm in the neighbouring Dominican Republic on Tuesday.

Source: BBC

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