Baku, October 8, AZERTAC
Hurricane Matthew killed almost 900 people and left tens of thousands homeless in Haiti earlier this week before it skirted Florida's Atlantic coast on Friday and plowed northward over waters just off Georgia, according to Reuters.
The number of deaths in Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, surged to at least 877 on Friday as information trickled in from remote areas previously cut off by the storm, according to a Reuters tally of death tolls given by officials.
Matthew triggered mass evacuations along the U.S. coast from Florida through Georgia and into South Carolina and North Carolina.
U.S. President Barack Obama urged people not to be complacent and to heed safety instructions.
"The potential for storm surge, loss of life and severe property damage exists," Obama told reporters after a briefing with emergency management officials about the fiercest cyclone to affect the United States since Superstorm Sandy four years ago.
Matthew smashed through Haiti's western peninsula on Tuesday with 145 mile-per-hour (233 kph) winds and torrential rain. Some 61,500 people were in shelters, officials said, after the storm pushed the sea into fragile coastal villages, some of which were only now being contacted.