Nine killed as hurricane Matthew strikes the Caribbean

Port-au-Prince/Santo Domingo, Oct 5 (IANS) At least nine persons were killed after hurricane Matthew stuck the Caribbean island-country Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Five persons were killed in Haiti and four in the Dominican Republic, and 14,000 others were displaced as the hurricane hit the two countries, Efe news reported.

Haitian Interior Minister Joseph Yanick said two persons were killed on Tuesday when their house collapsed under the impact of the hurricane.

One man died in Port Salut in southern Haiti, where hundreds of homes were destroyed after the category 4 hurricane slammed into the area with winds exceeding 220 kmph.

Denis McClean, spokesman for the UN Agency for Disaster Prevention, said the international agency was “very concerned” about the impact of the hurricane in Haiti, which is still recovering from the devastation wrought by the 2010 earthquake.

Hurricane Matthew also crippled telephone and internet connections across the region.

The emergency services said more than 200 households in southern Haiti were destroyed, while thousands of people were displaced and forced to flee to shelters.

In the Dominican Republic, 21,951 persons were displaced and a total of 447 homes were damaged, while 31 towns have been isolated.

The hurricane has crossed over to the eastern tip of Cuba and is now heading to the Bahamas, the US-based National Hurricane Center said in its advisory on Tuesday.

Emergencies have been declared in US states of Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley planning a complete evacuation of coastal communities on Wednesday.

–IANS

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