*UPDATE* Death toll has been raised to 299 people as of late Thursday night.
Haitian officials raised the death toll Thursday from Hurricane Matthew to 100 citizens, according to the Associated Press.
The death toll dramatically increased from 23 to 108 people the country’s Interior Minister, Francois Anick Joseph, announced. He gave no other details describing the situation. The total death count so far throughout the Caribbean is 114.
“(It) got hit extremely hard,” Guillaume Albert Moleon, the Interior Ministry spokesman said about Haiti.
The hurricane turned concrete walls into confetti and ripped away rooftops, forcing countless Haitians to run for cover.
“Nothing is going well,” said Jardine Laguerre, a teacher. “The water took what little money we had. We are hungry.”
The storm is being blamed for four deaths in the Dominican Republic, one in Colombia and one in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. There have been no reports of deaths from Cuba, which is better equipped to handle Matthew’s destructive force.
“The floodwater took all the food we have in the house. Now we are starving and don’t have anything to cook,” one Haitian farmer told reporters as he stood in brown water up to his thighs in a concrete shack.
The Haitian government has estimated that more than 350,000 people will need some form of assistance.
Matthew destroyed dozens of homes and damaged hundreds of others in Cuba’s easternmost city, Baracoa. The government managed to evacuate nearly 380,000 people and took quick measures to protect citizens and infrastructure, United Nations (U.N.) officials said.
Civil aviation authorities reported 3,214 destroyed homes.
Matthew is projected to be the most damaging storm since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It dropped slightly to a Category 3 storm after rolling over Cuba and Haiti but has since strengthened and is now considered a Category 4, officials said.
The hurricane is scheduled to slam into the East Coast of the U.S. late Thursday and continue pounding the eastern section of the country throughout the weekend.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott told citizens Tuesday that they’ll need to batten down the hatches and prepare for the worst.
“We cannot expect anything less than a Category 4 at this time,” the Republican governor said during a press conference.
“We know that people have died from Matthew,” Scott said. “Please keep everyone in the path of this storm in your prayers. Matthew is a very slow moving storm which means there will be a lot of rain.”
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