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Hurricane Matthew kills at least 23 people in Haiti

DAMAGE: A truck negotiates a road damaged by Hurricane Matthew, in Petit Goave, Haiti yesterday (Oct 5)

HURRICANE MATTHEW has caused extensive damage in Haiti, killing at least 23 people while an additional four people died in the neighbouring Dominican Republic.

The damage from the most powerful Atlantic tropical storm in almost a decade was so bad that it forced Haiti's electoral council to postpone Sunday's presidential election.

The storm pummelled towns, farmland and resorts and toppled trees, power lines and at least one bridge — and it left tens of thousands of Haitians without power.

Rescue workers in Haiti are struggling to reach parts of the country cut off by Hurricane Matthew.

Civil defence officials said many homes had been destroyed or damaged, especially in the southwestern corner of the country. U.N. officials described Matthew as the worst humanitarian crisis to hit Haiti since the 2010 earthquake.

The country is one of the world's poorest, with many residents living in flimsy housing in flood-prone areas
Officials said they were not yet in a position to gauge the true extent of the damage - particularly in the Grand Anse area on the southern tip of the island, which was directly in the storm's path.

The storm is now heading for the Bahamas and is expected to intensify as it moves towards the US state of Florida.

In the US, President Barack Obama warned that the coming days would be dangerous and urged Americans to heed official advice.

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