World Bulletin / News Desk
Matthew formed near the Windward Islands on Sept. 28 moving north to become a hurricane once it arrived in the eastern Caribbean, reaching Category 5 strength Oct. 1 with 160 mph (257 kph) winds before it made landfall in Haiti and eastern Cuba mid last week.
According to Haiti's Civil Protection Service, more than 330 people were killed but some media outlets citied figures from local officials that claimed the death toll exceeded 800.
Four others were killed by the storm in the Dominican Republic and one each in St. Vincent and the Grenadines Island.
Late last week, after hammering the Bahamas, the hurricane moved to the southeastern U.S. coasts of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, forcing the evacuation of nearly 2 million residents.
Seven of the deaths in the U.S. were in North Carolina, five in Florida and three in Georgia, authorities said.
Matthew was downgraded early Sunday to a post-tropical cyclone as it moved out to sea offshore North Carolina with a 75 mph wind speed.
Heavy rainfall in eastern North Carolina caused “record-breaking flooding”, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The state experienced a devastating flood that followed Hurricane Floyd in 1999 when the Neuse River in Goldsboro rose to 28.9 feet.
Forecasters warned that the river might hit 30.9 by early Monday.