Hurricane Matthew: Death toll soars in Haiti

The number of people killed in Haiti by Hurricane Matthew has risen sharply, with coastal villages and towns beginning to make contact with the outside world, two days after being hit by the fiercest Caribbean storm in nearly a decade.

A Reuters news agency tally of deaths reported by civil protection officials at a local level on Friday showed the storm killed at least 842, updating an earlier figure of 572.

Rural clinics overflowed with patients whose wounds including broken bones had not been treated since the storm hit on Tuesday.

Food was scarce, and at least seven people died of cholera, likely because of flood water mixing with sewage.

Bodies started to appear late on Thursday as waters receded in some places after Matthew’s 235km per hour (kph) winds smashed concrete walls, flattened palm trees and tore roofs off homes, forcing thousands of Haitians to flee.