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Florida woman becomes first US victim as hurricane blocks rescue

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COCOA BEACH, FL - OCTOBER 07: Heavy waves caused by Hurricane Matthew pound the boat docks at the Sunset Bar and Grill, October 7, 2016 on Cocoa Beach, Florida. Hurricane Matthew passed by offshore as a catagory 3 hurricane bringing heavy winds and minor flooding.   Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP

COCOA BEACH, FL – OCTOBER 07: Heavy waves caused by Hurricane Matthew pound the boat docks at the Sunset Bar and Grill, October 7, 2016 on Cocoa Beach, Florida. Hurricane Matthew passed by offshore as a catagory 3 hurricane bringing heavy winds and minor flooding. Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP

The United States marked its first known fatality from Hurricane Matthew as the Category 3 storm lashing the Florida coast claimed the life of a resident there, fire officials said Friday.

A woman in her late 50s suffered a medical emergency in her home in central Florida’s St. Lucie County, but high winds prevented fire officials from reaching her, a fire spokeswoman told AFP.

“We were unable to respond safely and unfortunately she died,” said St. Lucie County Fire District spokeswoman Catherine Chaney.

The cause of death was cardiac arrest, Chaney added.

The powerful storm surged through the Caribbean earlier this week, at times as a powerful Category 5 storm, killing at least 400 people in Haiti and four in the Dominican Republic.


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