Photos Of Hurricane Matthew's Devastation In The Caribbean Are Heartbreaking

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 four people in the Dominican Republic. The hurricane has displaced tens of thousands more across the Caribbean including the Bahamas and Cuba. Image: Getty

As the storm passes the Caribbean and heads 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.

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 tonight, and it could bring 200km/h 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 80-195 mph.

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

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 3 October 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, 6 October 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, 6 October 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, 6 October 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, 6 October 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 4 October 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, 5 October 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 185km/h. (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 4 October 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 185km/h. (Image: Getty)

People who had to evacuate the area return to their homes in the Carbonera community of Guantanamo, Cuba following Hurricane Matthew, 5 October 2016. The storm slammed into Haiti and Cuba as a Category Four hurricane on 4 October 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 185km/h. (Image: Getty)

A woman walks on 5 October 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, barrelled towards the Bahamas Wednesday morning after killing nine people and pummelling 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 4 October 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 4 October 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 4 October 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 4 October 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 7:00AM (9:00PM AEDT) with maximum sustained winds of around 230km per hour. (Image: Getty)

People remain at a shelter in Guantanamo city, east of Cuba on 4 October 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 barrelling ashore some 400km west of the capital Port-au-Prince. (Image: Getty)

Partial view of the coastline of Santo Domingo, near the Port of Haina on 3 October 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 4 October 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)

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