Evac­u­a­tions in US as Matthew hits Ba­hamas

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

MI­AMI: The United States be­gan evac­u­at­ing coastal ar­eas yes­ter­day as Hur­ri­cane Matthew pounded por­tions of the Ba­hamas af­ter it tore through the Caribbean, caus­ing se­vere dam­age and leav­ing at least 27 peo­ple dead.

Haiti’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, sched­uled for Sun­day, was post­poned af­ter Matthew blasted the im­pov­er­ished na­tion, knock­ing out a key bridge pro­vid­ing ac­cess to the coun­try’s south where the storm made land­fall.

Matthew, the worst storm to hit the Caribbean in nearly a decade, also forced the clo­sure of air­ports in the Ba­hamas.

All cruise ships have been re-routed from the pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tion, the govern­ment said.

“Se­ri­ously con­sider now mov­ing to higher grounds. Nat­u­ral phe­nom­ena can be vi­o­lently un­pre­dictable,” Ba­hamian Prime Min­is­ter Perry Christie told south­ern coastal com­mu­ni­ties be­fore the storm hit.

US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama warned Amer­i­cans in the storm’s path – in­clud­ing more than a mil­lion peo­ple told to evac­u­ate from vul­ner­a­ble coastal ar­eas – to take the threat se­ri­ously.

“We hope for the best, but we want to pre­pare for the worst,” he said.

The storm slammed into Haiti and Cuba as a Cat­e­gory Four hur­ri­cane on Tues­day but has since been down­graded to three, on a scale of five, by the US Na­tional Hur­ri­cane Cen­tre.

Matthew’s over­all death toll stood at 27 – 23 in Haiti and four in the Do­mini­can Repub­lic – but this looked cer­tain to climb.

Mean­while, South Korea cleaned up yes­ter­day af­ter Typhoon Chaba lashed its south­ern coast with pow­er­ful winds and heavy rains that trig­gered flash floods and left six peo­ple dead and four miss­ing.

The vi­o­lent storm passed over the south­ern tip of the Korean penin­sula on Wed­nes­day, pum­melling the port of Bu­san – the coun­try’s sec­ond-largest city – and the in­dus­trial city of Ul­san.

In Ul­san, a man drowned near his apart­ment and a woman was found dead at a flooded un­der­ground park­ing lot.

More than 230,000 homes across the coastal area suf­fered power out­ages, but the Korea Elec­tric Power Corp said sup­plies had been re­stored by yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Chaba had trig­gered se­vere storm warn­ings in Ja­pan, but was down­graded to an trop­i­cal cy­clone over the Sea of Ja­pan (East Sea) be­fore it hit Hon­shu is­land on Wed­nes­day evening. – AFP

A man is car­ried across La Digue river in the Haitian town of Petit Goave where the bridge col­lapsed dur­ing rains brought by Matthew on Wed­nes­day.

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