Photos: In the wake of Hurricane Matthew
As the now category three Hurricane Matthew continues to crawl up the Atlantic, along the eastern Florida coastline, the state’s hurricane warning has been extended into North Carolina.
The storm, with winds down from 145 MPH to 120 MPH, and with 150 MPH gusts, is currently 37 miles off Daytona Beach, where storm surge flooding is bringing water inland. Since starting to affect the state on Thursday, the hurricane has left more than half a million Florida residents without power, and there are fears that heavy rainfall combined with a storm surge could trigger major flooding along the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina.
In Florida, a state of emergency remains in place as some three million people have been ordered to evacuate. Forecasters say more than 15 inches of rain could still cause a 9ft storm surge in the state. Meanwhile, MSNBC is reporting, there are claims of price gouging from those who have evacuated, saying motels, gas stations, and stores have raised prices.
Before making its way up to the U.S. earlier this week, Hurricane Matthew decimated Baracoa, a city on the eastern tip of Cuba, in the Guantánamo Province. It then made a hard landfall over Haiti on Monday night, into Tuesday. There, the city of Jeremie is said to be 80% leveled and 30,000 homes were destroyed in Sud Province.
According to the World Food Programme’s director in Haiti, Carlos Veloso, it’s believed that the highest number of deaths is in the country’s south-western peninsula—an area that has been largely cut off by land, though some aid has started to make it’s way in via helicopter. Reuters has placed the death toll at 478, but Veloso has warned that the number could rise in the next few days, as emergency crews are able to make their way into the area. The U.S. has sent nine Army and Marine Corps helicopters to Haiti, to determine which areas need the most help, before delivering aid.
Hurricane Matthew also battered the Bahamas, though there were no deaths, and the Dominican Republic, which has reported four deaths.