Hurricane Matthew Kills At Least 17 In Us After Devastating Haiti

Hurricane Matthew has moved away from the North Carolina coast, having killed at least 17 people in the US and many hundreds in the Caribbean nation of Haiti.

Matthew had weakened to a category one storm when it hit southeast of McClellanville, South Carolina, on Saturday but it still brought serious flooding inland.

As well as South Carolina, the storm also caused major destruction in parts of Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.

Millions of homes were evacuated, more than a million homes left without power and US President Barack Obama has declared federal states of emergency in all four regions.

Deaths were recorded in all four states, including some from falling trees and some from carbon monoxide fumes from a generator.

Nearly half of the dead are in North Carolina, where severe flooding on Sunday saw thousands of people rescued from their homes and cars.

About 100 guests and staff had to flee from a motel in the North Carolina coastal town of Southport after the hurricane cracked a wall and left the roof in danger of collapsing.

The state’s governor Pat McCrory said police and emergency crews made more than 880 water rescues, including nearly 600 people in the Fayetteville area alone.

He added that, while four people are confirmed missing in that region, the full scale of the disaster is not yet known, with many places still cut off by flood waters.

The storm, downgraded to a cyclone on Sunday morning local time, is now heading out to sea with winds of 75mph but residents of North Carolina and Virginia could still see dangerous flooding through Monday night.

The US seemed to have avoided Matthew’s worst, with Colorado State University meteorology professor Phil Klotzbach describing it as “a super close call”.

Haiti, however, bore the brunt of what was initially a category four storm and brought winds of 145mph crashing onto the impoverished country’s southern coast on Tuesday.

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The country’s death toll was estimated at between 336 and almost 900, with the UN saying that around one million people were in “urgent need” of humanitarian aid due to both the storm and the resulting cholera outbreak.

Haiti, with a population of 1.3 million and a poverty rate of up to 70%, had at least 80% of its crops destroyed in the hurricane.

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