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Obama declares state of emergency in North Carolina

Flooded homes in a neighbourhood in North Carolina after Hurricane Matthew. Credit: Reuters

President Obama has declared a major disaster and a state of emergency in North Carolina after Hurricane Matthew hit the state and caused massive damage.

This enables federal funding to be made available to affected individuals in 10 counties that have been hit by the storm, the White House said in a statement.


Cholera on the rise in Haiti as hurricane death toll grows

More than 750,000 are in need of humanitarian assistance in Haiti Credit: Reuters

Cholera continued to spread throughout devastated parts of Haiti as officials estimated at least 1,000 people were killed by Hurricane Matthew.

In some parts of the country, cases of the waterborne disease have risen dramatically since last Tuesday's storm - with numbers expected to rise.

Officials have cited the immediate death toll from Matthew, a Category 4 hurricane which mainly hit west Haiti, as standing at at least 1,000.

More than 1.3 million people were affected by the storm while over 60,000 were forced to evacuate.

An estimated 750,000 people are now in need of assistance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Flooding in North Carolina as hurricane death toll hits 14

Devastation in Charleston, South Carolina, caused by the storm. Credit: Reuters

Thousands of people have been rescued from their homes and cars as up to 18 inches of rain caused severe flooding in North Carolina.

As the storm made its exit to the sea, the death toll in the US climbed to at least 14, half of them in North Carolina.

"As the sun rises in North Carolina and the blue sky returns, our state is facing major destruction and, sadly, loss of life," governor Pat McCrory said as the effects of Saturday's deluge became clearer.

However, the full scale of the disaster is not yet known as many places have not been reached by rescue teams and four people remain missing in the Fayetteville area of the state.

Weather forecasters said North Carolina and Virginia could get even more rain and warned of the danger of life-threatening flooding through Monday night.

Shortly before daybreak on Sunday the storm was stripped of its hurricane status and downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone.


State of emergency in North Carolina over hurricane

Hurricane Matthew beats down on Florida Credit: Reuters

President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency in the state of North Carolina as it braces for Hurricane Matthew to make landfall.

Officials are warning that the biggest risk could be from storm surges, as high winds on the coastline whip up huge waves.

A state of emergency has also been declared in Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia.

The hurricane skated the edge of Florida, causing less damage than feared as they eye of the storm stayed off the coast, but is now heading northwards.

Britain to give up to £5 million in aid to help Haiti victims

Hundreds of thousands have been affected after 145mph winds savaged the Caribbean country. Credit: Reuters

Britain will give up to £5 million of initial aid to the victims of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, including temporary shelters, water purification kits and solar lights, to battle the heightened risk of epidemics such as cholera.

The aid will target 12,500 of the most vulnerable people as experts from the Department for International Development (DfID) continue to help UN and NGO partners address the impoverished Caribbean nation's most pressing needs.

International development secretary Priti Patel said Britain would "play its part" by providing expertise and support to help those caught up in the aftermath of the "worst storm to hit this region in almost a decade".

"The absolute priority right now is to reach those who are injured and provide them with water, sanitation, shelter and protection," Ms Patel said.

Fresh disease fears in Haiti as hurricane strikes US coast

NASA pictures have captured the devastating power of Hurricane Matthew as the deadly winds continued to wreak damage along the US east coast after claiming more than 800 lives in Haiti.

While a host of American states brace themselves for impact, active dangers remain from the trail of devastation across the Caribbean nation.

With water supplies depleted there has emerged the fresh fear of a cholera epidemic among tens of thousands left homeless.

Stork shelters in toilet to wait out hurricane

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As millions of Americans prepared for Hurricane Matthew to hit Florida, the owners of a zoological park were also left facing the question of what to do with their charges.

Their answer - pop the storks into the toilets and make sure the poisonous snakes are at least double-boxed.

Keepers at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park in northeast Florida shared a picture on Facebook of a confused-looking stork preparing to wait out the storm in their visitors' toilets yesterday as they documented their work.

"Two days of hurricane prep is now over!", they wrote.

"Every bird and mammal is housed safely indoors, all venomous snakes are double contained (at least), tortoises and wee crocs are in various tubs and the storks are hanging out in the public restrooms!

"We love our animals and staff. Take care everyone and be careful."

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