Hurricane Matthew devastates Haiti

BBC:-New images show the extent of devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, with one town virtually wiped out and at least 23 people dead.

The death toll is set to rise, however, with Reuters reporting 35 fatalities.

Images of the south-west coastal town of Jeremie show flattened houses, with food and medical facilities badly hit.

Rescue workers have been struggling to reach areas cut off by the hurricane, which was the most powerful Caribbean storm in nearly a decade.

Jeremie was “pretty much wiped out from the seaboard all the way to the cathedral”, a radio host in Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince told the BBC on Thursday.

He said the town had been virtually cut off from the rest of the world because of broken down communications since the hurricane.

“The devastation that we are seeing is horrible…The town is really in dire straits and it’s very, very bad down there.”

A presidential election due this weekend in Haiti has been postponed because of the hurricane, which has left destruction across the Caribbean region.

Four people were also killed in the neighbouring Dominican Republic.

The storm is now pounding the Bahamas. It is expected to intensify as it moves towards the US state of Florida, where US residents have been warned to prepare for a “direct hit”.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said his state could be facing its biggest evacuation ever.

ne official for aid agency Oxfam told the BBC that more than 10,000 people had been displaced in the south alone.

Officials are concerned about the full extent of the damage in the Grand Anse area on the southern tip of the island – where Jeremie lies – which was directly in the storm’s path.

A key bridge has been destroyed, roads are impassable and phone communications have gone down.