Life in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew in 2016
Six years after dealing with a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people and destroyed more than 300,000 buildings, Haiti had to deal once more with tragedy.
Hurricane Matthew swept through the country on October 4, 2016 killing more than 1,000 people, leaving 175,000 people homeless and 1.4 million in need of food assistance. The country’s Directorate of Civil Protection claimed that when Hurricane Matthew slammed into Haiti it was a Category 4 hurricane that that had 145-mph winds. According to BBC News, almost 90 percent of Haiti’s south had been completely destroyed.
Though there have been many aid groups out surveying the damage and trying to reach as many people as they can, they are struggling with reaching the hardest hit areas such as Jérémie due to fallen trees, debris and roads and bridges that are impassable. There are also various roadblocks set up by desperate people trying to divert aid trucks so that they too may get supplies. Along with the need of food and shelter many need clothes, shoes, and medical care. According to Reuters, there are people with injuries such as broken bones that have not been treated since the hurricane hit.
Not only do the people of Haiti have to worry about finding food, shelter, and medical attention, but they also fear that disease may strike in the wake of disaster-fears that have been proven legitimate. There are at least 2,271 suspected cases of cholera in Haiti with the number rising every day. Haitians also have to worry about tetanus and waterborne diseases worsening due to persistent rainfall. Other worries include access to healthcare for pregnant women and protection for the women and girls that have been displaced.
Amidst all of this chaos however, the people of Haiti solider on. Marielle Sander, the United Nations Population Fund representative for Haiti says she remembers a midwife in Jérémie deliver six babies in the height of the storm with “water up to her knees”.
There are many people trying to resume their lives as best as they can. Some schools have reopened (although supplies such as books are still needed), people are going back to work if they are able, and the markets are slowly bouncing back.
Though there is a long road to recovery for Haiti, with the commitment and dedication from everyone in the world, they can rebuild and come back stronger than ever! There are websites you can visit to help today.
Sources:[1.] Weather.com – https://weather.com/news/news/hurricane-matthew-haiti-latest-news-0 [2.] CNN – http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/06/americas/hurricane-matthew-cuba-haiti/ [3.] USA Today – http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/10/26/hurricane-battered-haiti-matthew-recovery/92678570/ [4.] Weather.com https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/hurricane-matthew-by-the-numbers [5.] Weather.com https://weather.com/news/news/hurricane-matthew-haiti-effects-continue [6.] Weather.com https://weather.com/news/news/hurricane-matthew-haiti-effects-continue