Haiti Mourns

Over a thousand dead as cholera epidemic looms

Haiti’s suffering is about to get a lot worse

Haiti is in its second day of national mourning after Hurricane Matthew, the Caribbean’s strongest storm in 10 years, devastated the parts of the island nation and killed at least 1,000 people.

The eye of the storm centered on the Tiburon Peninsula in the south, leaving 350,000 people in need of assistance and tens of thousands of homes destroyed, according to government estimates.

People queue for food and clothes being distributed at a shelter in Port-Salut, southwest of Port-au-Prince. (RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)

Some villages, particularly in Haiti’s southwest, were almost entirely destroyed. The storm also damaged bridges and roads in the southern part of the hemisphere’s poorest country, making it difficult to deliver aid to affected areas nearly a week after the Category 4 hurricane made landfall near the commune of Les Anglais on Oct. 4.

The World Health Organization is raising concerns about a jump in waterborne and respiratory illnesses with infrastructure devastated and many medical facilities severely damaged or not functioning. With more than 28,000 cholera infections reported in the country so far this year, experts are anticipating a spike in cases of the disease, which can kill quickly if left untreated. Since the storm hit, more than 50 new cases have appeared in the south.

After leaving Haiti, Hurricane Matthew moved north through the Caribbean to Florida before passing over North Carolina. Across the Southeast there have been 19 storm-related deaths, with officials saying the toll would likely increase. Millions are without power across the Southeast, and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said 4,000 residents were in shelters Sunday night. 

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