Haiti braces for deadly storm

NEW YORK. KAZINFORM - Haiti braced for a brutal beating early Tuesday as Hurricane Matthew slowly closed in on the Caribbean nation, CNN reports.

The storm packing 145-mph winds had already killed at least three people, caused cruise ships to change course and prompted the governors of Florida and North Carolina to declare states of emergency.

At 2 a.m. ET Monday, the Category 4 hurricane was plodding along at about 8 mph and was about 60 miles south of Tiburon and 165 miles away from Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital and largest city, the US National Hurricane Center said.

Ferocious rain and wind already had begun to thrash Haiti. Haiti's Civil Protection Agency reported the coastal towns of Anse-d'Hainault and Tiburon had partially flooded. Up to 40 inches of rain could be dumped on the impoverished nation -- one still recovering from a devastating earthquake that struck six years ago.

"It could make landfall at any time," Interim Haitian President Jocelerme Privert said at a news conference. "We've already seen deaths. People who were out at sea. There are people who are missing. They are people who didn't respect the alerts. They've lost their lives."

As Matthew started to drench Haiti with dozens of inches of rain, Cuba, the Bahamas and the United States took steps to prepare for the storm's arrival in the coming days.

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