Hurricane Matthew Causes Disaster in Haiti
by Sukhmani Kaur
The island of Haiti was drenched by Hurricane Matthew as it ploughed through the muddy fields and streets of the Southwestern part of the island yesterday. With winds averaging more than 145 mph, there was little that men or women could do to save their homes. They watched helplessly as the winds tore off the corrugated roofs of their homes and even washed away the Petit Goave bridge. In its aftermath, Matthew has left the danger of mudslides and flash floods. The hurricane could not have picked a more difficult time for Haitians. With a majority of the country suffering from drought, the Hurricane squashed their hopes of a recovery, because it washed away crops thus threatening the livelihood of even more Haitians. Villages after villages are buried under fallen trees and debris where once houses stood. In addition, Haiti has been suffering from an epidemic of Cholera. With water and sewage mixing together freely, there is a huge concern that infectious diseases such as Cholera will afflict millions in this impoverished country.
Heavy rain made the waterways swell after the eye of the storm had passed. Even though the official death toll stands at 108, authorities expect the death toll to rise because people have been lost at sea and there are people buried in the debris that has still to be removed. Aid relief efforts have been hampered by the lack of the bridge that is invaluable in the transport of equipment and supplies. Up to 40 inches of rain was dumped onto the island wreaking havoc on a country that is still recovering from an earthquake in 2010 and a post-quake cholera epidemic that has killed 10,000 people to date. As Hurricane Matthew gains strength and hurls its way towards Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, let’s keep this island in our prayers and in our hearts as we open our wallets to donate generously to genuine relief efforts.