More than 250 dead in Haiti amid wreckage from ‘catastrophic’ Hurricane Matthew

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Oct. 6 (UPI) — More than 260 people have died and more than 350,000 need help in Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, officials said Thursday.

Hundreds of deaths around the Caribbean are attributed to the storm since Wednesday, most in Haiti. Officials there said they are still trying to reach people who may have been affected.

Late Thursday, BBC News cited government officials in reporting a death toll of at least 264 in Haiti, where Matthew left a trail of destruction.

The category 4 hurricane moved on toward the Bahamas on Thursday, headed toward the Florida coast, where millions were being evacuated and airports were closed.

Eighty percent of the buildings in Jeremie were leveled and 30,000 homes in Sud province were destroyed, the BBC report said.

“The situation is catastrophic,” Haitian President Jocelerme Privert told The Miami Herald. “The situation is critical.”

Haitian officials said more than 350,000 people are in need of some type of assistance.

More than 15,600 people were evacuated from their homes before the storm, and about 21,000 are still in shelters as officials, aid volunteers and workers from international organizations are just beginning to assess the damage.

“All phone lines and electricity are down,” said Jean-Michel Vigreux, country director for CARE Haiti. “Access is completely cut off, and everyone is running out of food and money. The bank is offline. Everyone is very shaken up.”


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