Pounding winds, torrential rains, floods, and landslides–Hurricane Matthew ripped through Haiti affecting a quarter of the country and destroyed a bridge linking Port-Au-Prince to the cities of Les Cayes and Jérémie. The disaster has caused considerable damage in the Great Southern region, where more than 10,000 people were evacuated in more than 300 temporary shelters. In Les Cayes, local authorities speak of floods reaching the height of an average-sized person.
"Initial information reaching us is worrying. Many affected people have lost their homes, crops, and livestock. It is likely that we will face situations of shortages, including food and essential household items," explained Hélène Robin, Handicap International’s head of emergency operations.
"We will have to face a logistical challenge to reach these very remote areas and provide humanitarian assistance which these isolated populations need. We also fear that the floods caused by Hurricane Matthew entail substantial health risks such as the spread of cholera."
A Handicap International team is making preparations to leave for Haiti tomorrow to reinforce HI teams already on the ground. The teams will focus on logistics support at the request of the UN system for the assessment and coordination Disaster (UNDAC) and will be responsible for assessing the needs of people affected by this disaster.
The hurricane continued its trajectory and hit the Dominican Republic and the eastern tip of Cuba, where more than 300,000 people were evacuated in temporary shelters, and is now heading for the south-eastern part of the United States.