Hurricane Matthew: 300 dead in Haiti, Florida braces for devastating storm

In Hait rescue operations are delayed in remote regions, raising fears of higher toll.

Hurricane Matthew: Florida braces for devastating storm, nearly 300 dead in Haiti
Destroyed houses are seen in a village after Hurricane Matthew passes Corail, Hait Reuters

Hurricane Matthew left behind a trail of mass destruction and claimed at least 283 lives in Haiti as it rages towards the United States' southeast coast.

President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in Florida as it prepares for severe blows from the most powerful Atlantic tropical storm in almost a decade. Roughly around three million people have been evacuated from the areas that come in the hurricane's path.

Meanwhile, in Hait rescue operations are delayed because of the remoteness of the terrain and the impoverished condition of the state.

People mostly died in fishing villages along the southwest coast and in towns. According to BBC news, around 80 percent buildings were levelled in the peninsula's main city, Jeremie. Several parts of the countries also faced severe power cuts.

Emergency workers told Reuters that many victims were killed by falling trees, flying debris and flooding rivers after Matthew hit the Caribbean country with 230-kph winds on 4 October. Also the category four hurricane destroyed livestock.

The Straits Times reported that the Pan American Health Organisation warned people of water-borne epidemics on 6 October. The organisation is preparing itself for possible cholera surge in Haiti as the flooding is likely to contaminate other water supplies, reported the news agency.

AFP reported that, according to forecast, the hurricane is likely to make landfall in the United States near Cape Canaveral on Friday morning.

Florida is already facing severe power cuts as it braces for the storm.

More than 100,000 people were already without power in Florida late Thursday. A high alert has also been issued for devastating storm surges of up to 10 feet over the entire coastline stretching from central Florida and South Carolina.

The Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, at a news conference said, "This storm will kill you." He urged people to cooperate for prompt evacuation.

"This is life and death," he added.