The number of dead in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew is growing by the hour.
It is reported over 330 dead at this time.
Hurricane Matthew is the worst storm that Haiti has witnessed in over 50 years.
The body count is expected to grow as rescue crews go deeper into the south.
Three days ago, Haiti was hit by Hurricane Matthew, the worst storm the area has seen in over 50 years. While the initial death count was relatively small, the Haiti death count has risen to over 330 following Hurricane Matthew.
The initial estimated five to be dead, but now the government is claiming over 280 victims from the hurricane. With the body count still rising, Hurricane Matthew makes the worst natural disaster since the Haiti earthquake of 2010.
Haiti suffered from major damages from Hurricane Matthew.
Before the body count began, reports poured in of mass flooding and massive damages throughout the area. Brown, murky water flowed down the streets of Haiti. Matthew also destroyed houses and killed livestock, both of which are devastating to a country as poor as Haiti.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there are roughly 350,000 people in need in Haiti. At least 28,000 houses have been destroyed. Jérémie, with a population of 31,000, has hundreds of destroyed houses. It was said that almost every structure of Les Cayes was damaged or destroyed.
The largest banana-growing area in the region, Arcachaie, was devastated by Hurricane Matthew. The crops from the area provide support for roughly 20,000 families. Hurricane Matthew is said to have destroyed almost 80% of the banana plants. Farmers are also going to face a problem with replanting since the fields are flooded with seawater.
Displacement is just adding to the chaos that is Haiti at this moment. There are currently over 21,000 displaced people staying at different shelters at the moment. The government is still struggling to house thousands of people from the 2010 earthquake. Thousands of people live in tent cities near the capital of Port-au-Prince. Originally the tent houses were meant to be a temporary solution, but the government still has yet to find a permanent solution.
Haiti’s national elections are postponed again!
Haiti’s national elections were postponed as a result of the destruction left in Hurricane Matthew’s path. The national election has been delayed multiple times before Hurricane Matthew rolled through.
Haiti attempted a first-round vote for president on October 25, 2015, but many complained the first-round vote, claiming voter fraud and rigging. The second-round vote was scheduled for December 27, 2015, but postponed until January.
Protests soon began after the January election never happened. On February 7, 2016, the term of President Michel Martelly ended with no president picked to fill his position. The President of Haiti’s Senate, Jocelerme Privert took over as interim president.
“Under the terms of this agreement, the Haitian parliament-elected interim president, in this case, Mr. Privert, has a fixed term of 120 days.”
Along with the 120-day interim president agreement, it was decided that the election would be rescheduled for April 24. On April 25, the election had not happened and called for elections “without delay.” On June 15, when Privert’s mandate was over, and Haiti still had no president, a group of UN member countries called on Haiti’s parliament to find a solution, which ended with the decision to hold the national election this Sunday.
Rescue workers were not able to get to the southern area of Haiti until Thursday.
The body count quickly jumped once rescue workers managed to gain access to the south of the country. Thursday marked the first day rescue crews were able to evaluate the south physically. Due to collapsed bridges and destroyed phone lines, there has been no contact with many Haitians who fell victim to Hurricane Matthew in the south of the country.
Once entering the south, bodies were found inside of flooded houses and other debris. Many of the deaths were said to be caused by falling tree branches and flying debris. Bodies are also being found from Haiti’s more isolated communities in the mountains, according to the country’s interior minister, Annick Joseph.
The damages to Haiti from Hurricane Matthew is the latest to slam the poverty stricken country. Shorty after the devastating earthquake in 2010, cholera has been a constant plague in the country. It is believed that UN peacekeepers unintentionally infected the people of Haiti with cholera. This year alone, there have already been over 26,000 cases of cholera reported.
The most powerful Caribbean hurricane in the last decade, mixed with a poor nation, and a government that has all but fallen apart made Haiti the perfect victim for this storm. The damage left from Hurricane Matthew will take years to repair. Some have said that the destruction will change Haiti forever. As rescue crews continue to go deeper into the southern country, it appears the body count will continue to grow.