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Cholera kills 13 people in Haiti as Hurricane Matthew wreaks havoc

Cholera outbreaks have killed at least 13 people in Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Nearly 900 people have died in Haiti with thousands homeless due to the storm, which is now battering the US southeast.

Officials said Saturday that six people died of the cholera disease in the southern Haitian town of Randel, while the other seven died in the western coastal town of Anse-d'Hainault.

Hurricane Matthew has wreaked havoc in Haiti since Friday, causing major flooding and loss of livestock. The storm has left some 900 people dead and thousands homeless.

The flood water mixed with sewage, which has likely caused the cholera outbreak. The disease causes sever diarrhea and can kill within hours if a patient doesn't receive medical treatment.

Dr. Donald Francois, head of the Haitian health ministry's cholera program, said 62 people were treated for cholera.

"We are concerned about these new outbreaks of cholera that we are seeing in new districts," Francois told Reuters news agency.

"I am on my way to the southern region to assess the situation and ensure that all necessary measures are in place," he added.

Before Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) released a loan of $8 million (7.14 million euros) to the United Nations Children's Fund to deal with a worsening cholera epidemic in the country.

"In 2016, almost 27,000 cholera cases have been reported in Haiti, and over 240 people have died. Hurricane Matthew is feared to significantly worsen the situation and increase the risk of a larger outbreak," CERF said in a statement on Friday.

After devastating Haiti, Matthew is now battering the US. Two women died in Florida as the hurricane hit. One was killed when a tree fell on her house in the Daytona area and the other died when a tree came down on a camper in Putnam County.

Watch video 01:41

Monster Hurricane Matthew devastates Haiti

shs/  (Reuters, AP)

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