Haiti was hit hard by Hurricane Matthew on Oct. 5, 2016. At least 264 people were killed in the battered nation. Haitian President Jocelerme Privert said that the situation in his country is catastrophic and critical, according to the Miami Herald.
The death toll is expected to rise. Government officials have vowed to take charge of Haiti’s reconstruction in the wake of Matthew’s aftermath. The extent of the destruction is still under assessment.
U.S. Coast Guard Video of the Damage in Haiti
Coast Guard District 7, from Miami, Fla., used an HC-144 Ocean Sentry Plane to conduct a survey the damage in Haiti following the hurricane. The video that was taken by Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric Woodall shows massive coastal flooding. The trees, which were whipped in the high winds, are missing palms. In southern Haiti, the country’s infrastructure is compromised.
Further damage was reported by the Ocean Sentry crew in the northern region and the south side of Isle De La Tortue. Highways, houses, and other structures are in ruin, according to the Defense Video Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS).
The Miami Herald reported that there are more than 28,000 homes that suffered as a result of the hurricane. Those that were not built using concrete blocks were hit particularly hard. Haiti’s president offered sympathy to all of the families who were affected by the storm.
Haitian Government to Control Outside Assistance
There will be a commission, made up of government ministers, to coordinate the aid to the country. Officials indicate they will welcome international agencies support. However, instead of the international community deciding where the assistance would go, the Haitian government will oversee the assistance provided. Current estimates indicate there are 350,000 people in need of help since the destructive storm.
Prime Minister Enex Jean-Charles stated that those agencies offering assistance would be directed by the government. They will be told what needs there are and where their help is most needed.
UN Reps Accompany Haitian Ministers During Damage Assessment
Privert told reporters that he plans to visit the Grand’Anse and the Grand South. He stated that ministers would visit other communities via SUVs. Visiting far northwest Haiti will be Jean-Charles. As the Haitian ministers travel across the country, they will be accompanied by United Nations teams and other humanitarian agencies.
A spokesman from the UN in New York, Farhan Haq explained that there were more that 15,000 people who had been evacuated. At least 1,900 homes suffered from flooding and hundreds of homes were affected by Hurricane Matthew.
The Office of Protection Civil spokesman Edgar Celestin said the amount of damage and number of people who died are expected to grow. He added this is especially true for Grand’Anse and other hard-hit areas. Celestin explained that the department in Tiburon Peninsula is cut off from communication. The hardest hit area is between Dame Marie and Port Salut.
Les Cayes Senator Francky Exius complained:”Everybody’s house is destroyed, the people can’t eat and have to drink coconut water to sustain them. The people are demoralized, they have no hope.” He further lamented that the government response was slow, and in Port Salut, there are two bridges damaged.
According to Tony Brown, BBC News correspondent, was in south-western Haiti said there was no assistance from the army or police and residents were attempting to deal with the devastation caused by the hurricane on their own. Brown explained he has seen the people trying to rebuild from the aftermath.
Most of the deceased were killed by swollen rivers, fallen trees, and flying debris. The greatest number of fatalities were on the southern coast’s fishing villages and towns.
Suzy DeFrancis from the American Red Cross (ARC) said they intend to bring the technology to get the phone system up and running across the Haiti.
She added: “We also have warehouses with relief supplies that we will be distributing.” The ARC will provide disaster relief in the form of aqua tabs for purifying water, hygiene kits, and kitchen kits for cooking. These and many other supplies will help the hard-hit residents of Haiti.
By Cathy Milne
The Weather Channel: Hurricane Matthew Kills At Least 136 in Haiti: ‘The Situation Is Catastrophic,’ Says Haitian President
Miami Herald: At least 108 dead in Haiti from Hurricane Matthew; number expected to rise
Defense Video Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS): A Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry Airplane Crew Conducts the First Post-Storm Damage Assessment Flights Over Haiti following Hurricane Matthew on October 5, 2016.
BBC News: Hurricane Matthew: Hundreds dead in Haiti storm disaster
Featured Image Courtesy of Victor Chapa’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Top Image Courtesy of Alex Proimos’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
First Inset Image Courtesy of Coast Guard News’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Second Inset Image Courtesy of United Nations’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License