Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, is still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Matthew, which left about 900 dead, 350,000 people in need of aid and 28,000 homes damaged, according to reports from the government and global aid organizations.
It was the worse devastation Haiti has seen since a massive earthquake in 2010 killed about 220,000 people.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, which struck Haiti on Tuesday, the country’s residents now face food shortages, as the hurricane wiped out many crops. In addition, the potential for a cholera outbreak is prevalent, given the current challenges in providing people in the country with access to clean drinking water.
There were also reports of people dying from falling trees, flying debris and swollen rivers. Reports also indicate that all phone lines and electricity are down, bridges were washed away and roads are stalled. This has reportedly caused delays in workers reaching the worst-hit areas.
In addition to the destruction of the homes and crops, the hurricane shut down Haiti’s schools and delayed its ongoing presidential election.
The department of Grand-Anse, which sits on the northern tip of Haiti, is of high concern to government officials, as the death toll and damage in the department appears to be the highest in the country.
As a grossly impoverished nation, Haiti struggled to prepare for the storm, given the lack of resources in the country. Relief officials say those same challenges have hampered relief efforts.
The international aid response in Haiti is gaining steam. For example, the Red Cross launched an emergency appeal for about $7 million, while the Unicef said it needs at $5 million to support the 500,000 children impacted by the storm.
What’ more, the US is sending 300 Marines from USS Mesa Verde to join the 250 personnel it has already supplied. According to the U.S. Embassy in Haiti, more than 480 metric tons of supplies were being delivered to help some 1.5 million people affected by the storm. And France is sending 60 troops and 32 tons of humanitarian aid.
Footage of the Hurricane Matthew in Haiti can be found below.