Image: Getty

Hurricane Matthew is one of the most powerful storms to barrel through the Caribbean in over a decade. The violent windstorm has already claimed the lives of more than 108 people in Haiti and at least 4 people in the Dominican Republic. The hurricane has displaced tens of thousands more across the Caribbean including the Bahamas and Cuba.

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As the storm begins to pass the Caribbean and head toward the eastern coast of the US, officials are beginning to understand the scope of destruction caused by the hurricane. According to UN special representative for Haiti Mourad Wahba more than 10,000 Haitians are in shelters and hospitals that are overflowing. The United Nations also estimates that 350,000 Haitians need immediate assistance, making it the worst humanitarian crisis since the devastating earthquake six years ago.


Aerial footage is filmed by ABC News shows just how extensive the devastation has been. Thousands of homes appear to be destroyed across the south-east tip of Haiti, which suffered the brunt of the hurricane’s blows. The UN has already dispatched disaster relief teams to help clear roads and provide other services to those affected by the storm.

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In Cuba, more than 377,000 people were evacuated from areas that were most likely to be affected by the storm. The country moved tens of thousands of people to safe areas and also took pre-emptive action to strengthen infrastructure against strong winds, rains, storm surge and floods.

Hurricane Matthew is expect to hit the East Coast of the United States as soon as tomorrow, and it could bring 125 miles per hour winds. The hurricane’s winds have already reached that speed but slowed down when the storm made landfall in Cuba. Experts expect the hurricane to restrengthen as it passes over the Bahamas and depending on how closely it hugs the United States’ coast, winds could be anywhere between 50-120 mph.

Earlier today, Hurricane was upgraded from a Category 3 storm to a Category 4. So, frighteningly, it seems the devastation has just begun.

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Update 10/7/2016: The number of people killed by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti has risen above 300, according to a BBC report. Haitian officials are saying the death toll reached more than 478 people yesterday, but this has not been independently verified by any major news agencies. Most of the fatalities in Haiti occurred in remote fishing villages and were caused by flying debris, falling trees, and rampant flooding from overflowing rivers.

In this NOAA handout image, taken by the GOES satellite at 1620 UTC shows Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean Sea heading towards Jamacia, Haiti and Cuba on October 3, 2016. Matthew is a strong Category 4 hurricane, in the central Caribbean Sea and is poised to deliver a potentially catastrophic strike on Haiti. (Image: Getty)
Homes lay in ruins after the passing of Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. Two days after the storm rampaged across the country’s remote southwestern peninsula, authorities and aid workers still lack a clear picture of what they fear is the country’s biggest disaster in years. (Image: AP)
Girls hold hands as they help each other wade through a flooded street after the passing of Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. Two days after the storm rampaged across the country’s remote southwestern peninsula, authorities and aid workers still lack a clear picture of what they fear is the country’s biggest disaster in years. (Image: AP)
Personal items are set out to dry as homeowners cull through the debris of their homes destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. Two days after the storm rampaged across the country’s remote southwestern peninsula, authorities and aid workers still lack a clear picture of what they fear is the country’s biggest disaster in years. (Image: AP)
Haitian people cross the river La Digue in Petit Goave where the bridge collapsed during the rains from Hurricane Matthew, southwest of Port-au-Prince, October 6, 2016. Hurricane Matthew has left at least 23 people dead in Haiti, a toll likely to climb as authorities re-establish contact with the hardest-hit areas where the damage is ‘catastrophic,’ officials said. The Caribbean’s worst storm in nearly a decade, Matthew slammed into Haiti, the Americas’ poorest nation, with heavy rains and devastating winds triggering severe flooding and mud slides. (Image: Getty)
People try to cross the overflowing La Rouyonne river in the commune of Leogane, south of Port-au-Prince, October 5, 2016. Haiti and the eastern tip of Cuba — blasted by Matthew on October 4, 2016 — began the messy and probably grim task of assessing the storm’s toll. Matthew hit them as a Category Four hurricane but has since been downgraded to three, on a scale of five, by the US National Hurricane Center (Image: Getty)
A man works with damaged property in the Carbonera community of Guantanamo, Cuba following Hurricane Matthew, October 5, 2016. The storm slammed into Haiti and Cuba as a Category Four hurricane on October 4, 2016 but has since been downgraded to three, on a scale of five, by the US National Hurricane Center (NHC). Its winds were howling at 115 miles per hour. (Image: Getty)
A man surveys damaged property in the Carbonera community of Guantanamo, Cuba following Hurricane Matthew, October 5, 2016. The storm slammed into Haiti and Cuba as a Category Four hurricane on October 4, 2016 but has since been downgraded to three, on a scale of five, by the US National Hurricane Center (NHC). Its winds were howling at 115 miles per hour. (Image: Getty)
People who had to evacuate the area return to their homes in the Carbonera community of Guantanamo, Cuba following Hurricane Matthew, October 5, 2016. The storm slammed into Haiti and Cuba as a Category Four hurricane on October 4, 2016 but has since been downgraded to three, on a scale of five, by the US National Hurricane Center (NHC). Its winds were howling at 115 miles per hour. (Image: Getty)
A woman walks on October 5, 2016 along a coastal road between Guantanamo and Baracoa which was left covered in rocks and severely damaged after the passage of Hurricane Matthew through the eastern tip of Cuba on Tuesday afternoon. Hurricane Matthew, the Caribbean’s worst storm in nearly a decade, barreled towards the Bahamas Wednesday morning after killing nine people and pummeling Haiti and Cuba. (Image: Getty)
The mother (C) of two girls who died when a landslide knocked the walls of their house down during the passage of Hurricane Matthew, is comforted outside her house in the neighbourhood of Capotillo, in Santo Domingo on October 4, 2016. Matthew, a Category Four hurricane, slammed into the Dominican Republic and Haiti Tuesday, triggering major floods and forcing thousands to flee the path of the storm that has claimed at least three lives in each country. (Image: Getty)
A man walks down a flooded street, in a neighbourhood of the commune of Cite Soleil, in the Haitian Capital Port-au-Prince, on October 4, 2016. Hurricane Matthew slammed into Haiti, triggering floods and forcing thousands to flee the path of a storm that has already claimed three lives in the poorest country in the Americas. (Image: Getty)
Picture taken in the flooded neighbourhood of La Puya, in Santo Domingo on October 4, 2016 after the passage of Hurricane Matthew through Hispaniola — the island that the Dominican Republic shares with Haiti. Matthew, a Category Four hurricane, slammed into the Dominican Republic and Haiti Tuesday, triggering major floods and forcing thousands to flee the path of the storm that has claimed at least three lives in each country.(Image: Getty)
A woman pushes a wheelbarrow while walking in a partially flooded street, in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, on October 4, 2016. Hurricane Matthew made landfall in southwestern Haiti early Tuesday, crashing ashore as a powerful Category Four storm, US weather forecasters said. The National Hurricane Center said Matthew made landfall as an ‘extremely dangerous’ storm near the village of Les Anglais at around 7 am (1100 GMT) with maximum sustained winds of around 145 miles (230 kilometers) per hour. (Image: Getty)
People remain at a shelter in Guantanamo city, east of Cuba on October 4, 2016 ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. The most menacing storm in the Caribbean in nearly a decade, Matthew began battering Haiti late Monday with strong winds and rising sea levels, before barreling ashore some 250 miles west of the capital Port-au-Prince. (Image: Getty)
Partial view of the coastline of Santo Domingo, near the Port of Haina on October 3, 2016 as strong winds and rain are expected in the next few hours in Dominican Republic. Hurricane Matthew claimed its first victims, officials said Monday, leaving one dead and one person missing in Haiti as it churns through the Caribbean as the most menacing storm in nearly a decade. (Image: Getty)
Picture taken in the flooded neighbourhood of La Puya, in Santo Domingo on October 4, 2016 after the passage of Hurricane Matthew through Hispaniola — the island that the Dominican Republic shares with Haiti. Matthew, a Category Four hurricane, slammed into the Dominican Republic and Haiti Tuesday, triggering major floods and forcing thousands to flee the path of the storm that has claimed at least three lives in each country. (Image: Getty)