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NEW: Eye makes landfall in Cuba as storm heads toward Bahamas
Major bridge in Haiti wiped out by storm; Four dead in Dominican Republic
Hurricane Matthew’s strong winds pounded Cuba on Tuesday night even as the powerful storm took its last lashes at Haiti, where it downed trees, drenched the ground with feet of rain and flooded streets.
The damage was especially brutal in southern Haiti, where sustained winds of 130 mph continued to punish the impoverished island nation even as the eye of the storm crossed eastern Cuba.
The “extremely dangerous” storm has killed at least seven people, including four in Haiti’s neighbor, the Dominican Republic.
In Haiti, where Matthew made landfall Tuesday as a Category 4 hurricane, the storm has passed but the aftermath has just begun, prompting an influx of international aid.
Officials feared a high death toll in Haiti.
“We’ve already seen deaths. People who were out at sea. There are people who are missing. They are people who didn’t respect the alerts. They’ve lost their lives,” Interim Haitian President Jocelerme Privert said at a news conference.
Heavy rain throughout the day caused Haitian waterways to swell.
“The river has overflowed all around us,” church pastor Louis St. Germain said. “It’s terrible … a total disaster.”