Hurricane Matthew has killed at least 69 people, the death toll in struggling Haiti alone rising to 65, local officials said, as the storm headed northward on Thursday battering the Bahamas en route to Florida.
Haiti’s civil protection service put the toll in the impoverished Caribbean nation at 23 dead, many killed by falling trees, flying debris and swollen rivers. The interior ministry, a local mayor and other local delegates confirmed 42 other deaths to Reuters across Haiti.
That included a group of 24 people killed in the coastal town of Roche-a-Bateau.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said the town’s delegate Louis Paul Raphael.
Four people were killed earlier in neighboring Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti.
Matthew is the strongest hurricane in the Caribbean since Felix in 2007.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, it whipped Cuba and Haiti with 225kph winds and torrential rain, pummeling towns, crops and homes and killing livestock.
The devastation in Haiti prompted authorities to postpone a presidential election scheduled for Sunday. — Reuters