Hurricane Matthew in Haiti: Death toll rises to 339; Barack Obama declares emergency in Florida
Hurricane Matthew in Haiti: Matthew, the first major hurricane threatening a direct hit on the United States in more than 10 years, closed in on Florida on Thursday after killing at least 339 people in Haiti on its destructive march north through the Caribbean.
Image Caption: A girl helps her mother to remove mud from her house after Hurricane Matthew flooded their home in Les Cayes, Haiti. Two days after the storm rampaged across the country's remote southwestern peninsula, authorities and aid workers still lack a clear picture of what they fear is the country's biggest disaster in years. (AP)
Hurricane Matthew in Haiti: Carrying extremely dangerous winds of 130 mph (215 kph), the storm pounded the northwestern part of the Bahamas en route to Florida's Atlantic coast, the US National Hurricane Center said.
Image Caption: A flooded river is seen after Hurricane Matthew hit Jeremie, Haiti (Reuters)
Hurricane Matthew in Haiti: Matthew's top sustained winds had dropped to 130 mph by Thursday night. But it remained a Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity as it neared Florida, where it could either plow inland or tear along the Atlantic coast through Friday night, the Miami-based center said. Few storms with winds as powerful as Matthew's have struck Florida, and the NHC warned of "potentially disastrous impacts."
Image Caption: Haitians line up at an immigration agency in Tijuana, Mexico with the hope of gaining an appointment to cross to the US side of the border. US Customs and Border Protection can only handle up to about 75 people a day at San Ysidro, and Tijuana authorities were unhappy about large crowds assembled on the Mexican side of the border crossing. (AP)
Hurricane Matthew in Haiti: The US National Weather Service said the storm could be the most powerful to strike northeast Florida in 118 years.
Image Caption: Destroyed houses are seen in a village after Hurricane Matthew passes Corail, Haiti (Reuters)
Hurricane Matthew in Haiti: Hurricane conditions were expected in parts of Florida late on Thursday or early on Friday and a dangerous storm surge was expected to reach up to 11 feet (3.35 meters) along the Florida coast, Ed Rappaport, deputy director of the Miami-based NHC, said on CNN. "What we know is that most of the lives lost in hurricanes is due to storm surge," he said.
Image Caption: A family heads to a shelter in Leogane, Haiti. Hurricane Matthew mashed concrete walls, flattened palm trees and tore off roofs, forcing thousands of Haitians to flee. Two days later, authorities and aid workers were just beginning to get a clear picture of what they fear is the country's biggest disaster in years. (AP)
Hurricane Matthew in Haiti: Some 339 people were killed in Haiti, local officials said, and thousands were displaced after the storm flattened homes, uprooted trees and inundated neighborhoods earlier in the week. Four people were killed in the Dominican Republic, which neighbors Haiti.
Image Caption: Haitian migrants receive food and drinks from volunteers as they wait in line at a Mexican immigration agency in Tijuana with the hope of gaining an appointment to cross to the US side of the border. Many Haitians arriving at the Mexico-US border are unaware of a new US policy of putting them in deportation proceedings and detaining them while making efforts to fly them home. (AP)
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