Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew: Struggle to reach worst-hit parts of Haiti as Florida braces for storm's arrival

The destruction wrought by Hurricane Matthew has forced Haiti's presidential election, due to take place at the weekend, to be postponed, officials say.

Thousands have been displaced and at least five have died in the country.

The US state of Florida is bracing for the storm's arrival late on Thursday.

The storm is currently over the Bahamas, where all air and sea traffic has been halted and people were urged to move to higher ground.

Hurricane Matthew: Thousands displaced in Haiti

Hurricane Matthew is said to have devastated parts of the country, where at least two people have died.

The storm has now moved off the north-eastern coast of Cuba towards Florida, where warnings are in place.

South Carolina is to start evacuating more than a million people.

Matthew, now a category three hurricane, is predicted to hit the US east coast later in the week.

The hurricane also hit Cuba, but early reports suggested it is impact was not as hard as in Haiti, where there were winds of 230km/h (145mph), heavy rain and dangerous storm surges.

Hurricane Matthew: Category Four storm pounds Haiti

Hurricane Matthew, a Category Four storm, swept over the west of Haiti and is now heading towards eastern Cuba.

Southern Haiti has effectively been cut off after the bridge linking it to the capital, Port-au-Prince, collapsed.

The deputy mayor of the southern coastal town of Les Cayes described the scene there as "catastrophic".

Marie Claudette Regis Delerme said the city of 70,000 people was flooded and many houses had lost roofs. She herself had to flee a meeting when a gust ripped off the building's roof.

Hurricane Matthew: 'Life-threatening flash floods and mudslides' expected

Hurricane Matthew is expected to dump torrential rainfall on Jamaica and Haiti on Sunday evening before making landfall Monday.

"This rainfall will produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides," the National Weather Service said Sunday. "Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion."

Many Jamaicans, however, believe they can ride out the storm, putting their trust in a higher power, despite pleas from authorities to leave the threatened coast.

Hurricane Matthew is strongest storm in Atlantic in nine years

Weather forecasters have upgraded Hurricane Matthew to category five, the highest on the scale of intensity.

Jamaican PM Andrew Holness has called an urgent meeting of parliament to discuss hurricane preparedness.

The storm is expected to make landfall by Monday.

Jamaica's palm-lined southern coast is expected to be hit first. The capital, Kingston, is located in the area, as is the country's only oil refinery.

Officials have warned the high winds could also batter the island's main tourist areas including Montego Bay in the north.