PORT-AU-PRINCE: Hurricane Matthew’s overall death toll now stands at 27, including four people killed in the Dominican Republic.
Matthew has left at least 23 people dead in Haiti, a toll likely to climb as authorities re-establish contact with the hardest-hit areas where the damage is “catastrophic,” officials said.
The Haitian authorities have meanwhile postponed presidential and legislative elections originally set for Sunday because of the havoc caused by Matthew, election officials said Wednesday. The president of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council, Leopold Berlanger, said a new date for elections would be announced by next Wednesday.
The Caribbean’s worst storm in nearly a decade slammed into Haiti, the Americas’ poorest nation, with heavy rains and devastating winds triggering severe flooding and mudslides.
“The situation in the main cities we flew over was catastrophic,” Haiti’s interim president Jocelerme Privert said, after surveyed damage to the country’s south Wednesday in a US Coast Guard plane.
“Jeremie, Les Cayes, Port-Salut, Petite-Riviere de Nippes, Dame Marie, among others, require all intervention without delay,” he said, according to a Wednesday statement.
In addition to the 23 killed, three people remain missing, civil protection spokesman Edgar Celestin said, warning that the toll did not include the department of Grande Anse, which was in the eye of the storm and has been cut off from communication. More than 21,000 people have been evacuated to temporary shelters.