Oct 7, 2016 – Tragedy As Hurricane Matthew Kills Over 478 People In Haiti
Haiti’s death toll as a result of Hurricane Matthew – the most powerful Caribbean storm in a decade has soared to more than 400, officials say.
Some 50 people were reported killed in the town of Roche-a-Bateau alone
The nearby city of Jeremie saw 80% of its buildings levelled. In Sud province 30,000 homes were destroyed.
Category Three Matthew, with sustained winds of 120mph (193km/h), is heading up the coastline of the US state of Florida but has not made landfall.
It remains unclear whether it will do so.
At 08:00 local time (12:00 GMT) Matthew was off the Florida coast, about 45 miles east of Daytona Beach and moving north-west at about 13mph, the National Hurricane Center said.
Senator Herve Fourcand from southern Haiti told AFP news agency that at least 400 people had died.
Reuters news agency put the death toll at 478, quoting Haitian officials, but this has not been independently confirmed.
After slicing through Haiti and Cuba, Hurricane Matthew pounded the Bahamas on Thursday but no fatalities were reported there.
Most of the deaths in Haiti were in towns and fishing villages around the southern coast, with many killed by falling trees, flying debris and swollen rivers.
The storm passed directly through the Tiburon peninsula, driving the sea inland and flattening homes with winds of up to 230km/h (145mph) and torrential rain on Monday and Tuesday.
The collapse of an important bridge on Tuesday had left the south-west largely cut off, with flood waters continuing to hamper rescue efforts.
Non-governmental organisations said phone coverage and electricity were down and people were running out of food and water.