Hurricane Matthew claimed its first U.S. victim

The devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew has claimed its first life in the U.S.

The sheriff of St. Lucie County, Florida, has confirmed the storm prevented emergency responders from reaching a woman in her late 50s who went into cardiac arrest in the middle of the night, ABC News reported.

By the time the crew was able to navigate the 68-mph winds to reach the woman, she had already died, the St. Lucie Fire Department said.

Hurricane Matthew has already claimed scores of lives across Haiti, Cuba and the Caribbean, with Reuters reporting that the death toll in Haiti alone has already exceeded 800.

As the hurricane continues to bear down on the east coast of the United States, officials have repeatedly urged those in evacuation zones to abandon their homes for risk of losing their lives.