Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste, head of the civil protection agency, said the storm also made roads impassable and knocked out communications in the Grand Anse department, on the opposite side of the narrow peninsula from where Matthew first hit.
Civil aviation authorities reported counting 3,214 destroyed homes along the southern peninsula, where many families live in shacks with sheet metal roofs and don't always have the resources to escape harm's way.
The government has estimated at least 350,000 people need some kind of assistance after the disaster, which U.N.
"The news on the radio doesn't seem nearly as bad as it could have been," upholsterer Daniel Wesley said as he walked down a rain-slicked street in downtown Port-au-Prince which was largely spared from the storm.
But the government oversaw the evacuation of nearly 380,000 people and strong measures were taken to protect communities and infrastructure, U.N.