**Port-au-Prince/Santo Domingo** Hurricane Matthew moved toward the Bahamas and Florida’s eastern coast after killing at least 17 people and battering Haiti and Cuba with torrential rains.
The damage from the storm was so bad it forced Haiti’s electoral council to postpone Sunday’s presidential election.
The hurricane, described by UN officials as “the worst humanitarian crisis to hit Haiti since the 2010 earthquake”, whipped Cuba and Haiti with 230 km per hour winds on Tuesday.
The president of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council, Leopold Berlanger, said a new date for the presidential elections would be announced by next Wednesday at the latest after talks between various interested parties, France 24 reported.
The Category four hurricane struck towns, farmlands and resorts, toppled trees, power lines and at least one bridge – and left tens of thousands of Haitians without power.
According to NBC News, approximately 35,000 residents who lived close to the water went further inland before the storm hit. Cuban officials said these residents were either moved to higher ground with family or placed in shelters run by the state.
Hurricane and tropical storm warnings have been extended along a large stretch of Florida’s east coast ahead of Matthew’s forecast arrival on Thursday.