By Sadaf Parveen.
The poorest country in the Americas and one of the poorest in the world, Haiti has been hit by a powerful hurricane- Hurricane Matthew. It does not come as a surprise that Haiti has fallen victim to a natural disaster, the country has experienced numerous throughout history; for example, Hurricane Gustav, Hurricane Ike, the 2010 earthquake, and more. Even more worrying is the fact that Haiti had not yet fully recovered from the fatal 2010 earthquake (7.0 magnitude) when Hurricane Matthew hit and further sunk Haiti into disaster.
Hurricane Matthew began on September 28th, 2016 and extended all the way to October 10th, 2016. The hurricane was labeled as category 5. The following video by the The Weather Channel describes the effects of each hurricane category on the environment.
Hurricane Matthew started off in the Windward Islands forming a tropical wave. Then, after a few days of severe rain and wind, it was officially a hurricane moving into the Eastern Caribbean. When Matthew first hit Haiti’s southwestern peninsula it was about 145 mph. As it kept moving, it grew stronger and more deadly. When Matthew reached category 5, the wind’s strength was about 160 mph; it was full on effect and destroyed homes, roads, caused flooding, and brought evermore devastation to Haiti.
Haiti is currently in tragedy. The death toll alone is of over 546 people according to the World Health Organization’s latest response. In addition to the death toll, 128 people are missing and unaccounted for as of now. Thousands of people have been left homeless, without clean water, and without the proper medical treatment. Due to the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, the outbreak of cholera in Haiti may cause a bigger problem now as water sources have been contaminated and drinking from them has propagated the spread of cholera. Haitians are struggling to survive right now. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Hurricane Matthew as of October 14th, 2016, has brought about 1116 suspected cases of cholera to Haiti, with the number expected to rise as time goes by and relief efforts try to solve the clean water crisis in the country. To make matters worse, 34 out of 212 Cholera Treatment Centers (CTC) were destroyed by the hurricane. According to the U.N., about 1.4 million people in Haiti need humanitarian assistance. The U.N. Health agency has requested $9 million from donors in order to help Haiti get back on its feet. Those of us who do not have millions of dollars to help out with can contribute in smaller sums through donations.
Here is a list of organizations that we can use to help Haiti: