Travel warnings for Australians after Hurricane Matthew

Peter Terlato 10 October 2016

Hurricane Matthew October 2016 - Florida

Heavy rains and further flooding anticipated for North Carolina and Virginia.

Hurricane Matthew tore through parts of Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina before deteriorating and heading out to sea, claiming at least 16 lives in the US and causing immense destruction as a result of severe flooding, fallen trees and flying debris.

Over the weekend, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) issued a travel warning for Australians visiting the southeastern United States via its Smartraveller website.

The powerful storm hit the coast of Florida late last week after battering the island nation of Haiti. According to the Haitian government, tens of thousands of homes were destroyed, entire crop plantations wiped out and more than 800 people killed.

Authorities say the spread of diseases, such as cholera, is a major concern, while access to clean drinking water, food supplies and temporary shelter are scarce.

Earlier this year, Aussies travellers to Bali and Thailand were warned of potential health risks after reports the mosquito-borne Zika virus had spread to parts of Indonesia.

While the worst of the storm has past, US weather forecasters suggest areas of North Carolina and Virginia could experience further bouts of heavy rain and dangerous flooding.

States of Emergency have been declared, with very strong winds, torrential rains and storm surges anticipated in coastal areas. Evacuation orders have been put in place for some areas and travellers are advised to monitor the media for the latest developments and follow the instructions of local authorities.

The level of advice for Australians visiting the US has not changed.

For further information and updates on the storm's progress, additional weather warnings and evacuations, visit the US National Hurricane Center's website.

If you're heading to the US or any country with volatile weather conditions, find and compare travel insurance with natural disaster cover and policies that assist with missed, delayed or cancelled flights.

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Picture: Hernanv / Shutterstock.com

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