Destruction in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew
Destruction in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew Reuters

Hurricane Matthew continued to batter Haiti on Friday, with the number of dead soaring to 842, Reuters reported.

In addition, tens of thousands have been left homeless and crops were destroyed in the Caribbean nation’s breadbasket region, according to the news agency.

Information trickled in from remote areas that were cut off by the storm, and it became clear that at least 175 people died in villages clustered among the hills and coast of Haiti’s fertile western tip.

At least three towns reported dozens of fatalities, including the farming village of Chantal, whose mayor said 86 people perished, mostly when trees crushed houses.

He added that 20 more people were missing.

Coastal town Les Anglais also lost “several dozen” people, the central government representative in the region, Louis-Paul Raphael, told Reuters.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Matthew hit coastal east-central Florida with fierce winds, leaving hundreds of thousands without power, reported CNN.

One of the biggest concerns ahead about the Category 3 storm is potentially life-threatening storm surges in the Jacksonville area, the network noted.

Portions of the coast already have recorded 100 mph winds near Cape Canaveral, and storm surges of 10 feet still are possible for Jacksonville later Friday, Gov. Rick Scott said.

Gov. Scott added officials are particularly concerned about low-lying areas in Jacksonville, where there is potential for significant flooding.

He said all major roads and interstate highways are open, and no major road or traffic issues have been reported. In some of the counties that the storm has passed, it appeared that evacuations urged by local officials worked, he said.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)