Deadly mon­ster

Hur­ri­cane Matthew death toll nears 300 in hard-hit Haiti Flood­ing threat­ens US East Coast

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - – AP

HAITIAN OF­FI­CIALS yes­ter­day dra­mat­i­cally raised the known death toll from Hur­ri­cane Matthew as they fi­nally be­gan to reach cor­ners of the coun­try that had been cut off by the ram­pag­ing storm.

Late yes­ter­day, Haitian state of­fi­cials an­nounced that at least 280 per­sons had died, up from a pre­vi­ous count of 23. There were six other re­ported deaths across the Caribbean.

Of­fi­cials were es­pe­cially con­cerned about the depart­ment of Grand-Anse, at the north­ern tip of the penin­sula, which was slammed by the cat­e­gory four hur­ri­cane, sev­er­ing roads and com­mu­ni­ca­tion links.

Of­fi­cials with the Civil Pro­tec­tion Agency said 38 of the known deaths were re­ported in Grand-Anse.

“Dev­as­ta­tion is ev­ery­where,” Pilus Enor, mayor of the town of Camp Per­rin, told The As­so­ci­ated Press. “Ev­ery house has lost its roof. All the plan­ta­tions have been de­stroyed . ... This is the first time we [are] see some­thing like this.”

Peo­ple faced an im­me­di­ate hunger cri­sis in Grand-Anse’s largest city of Jérémie, said Maarten Boute, chair­man of tele­coms Dig­i­cel Haiti, who flew to the city in a heli­copter.

Matthew smashed con­crete walls, flat­tened palm trees, and tore off roofs, forc­ing thou­sands of Haitians to flee. In the sea­port of Les Cayes, many searched for clean water as they lugged mat­tresses and other be­long­ings they were able to sal­vage.

“Noth­ing is go­ing well,” said Jar­dine La­guerre, a teacher. “The water took what lit­tle money we had. We are hun­gry.”

Au­thor­i­ties and aid work­ers were just be­gin­ning to get a clear pic­ture of what they fear is the coun­try’s big­gest disas­ter in years.

UR­GENT NEEDS

The in­te­rior min­is­ter said food and water were ur­gently needed, not­ing that crops had been lev­elled, wells in­un­dated by sea­wa­ter, and some water-treat­ment fa­cil­i­ties de­stroyed.

Be­fore hit­ting Haiti, the storm was blamed for four deaths in the Do­mini­can Repub­lic, one in Colom­bia, and one in St Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines.

So far, there were no re­ports of ca­su­al­ties from bet­ter-equipped Cuba or from The Ba­hamas, which was be­ing pum­melled by the hur­ri­cane yes­ter­day.

In the mean­time, the United States East

Coast was bracing for the cat­e­gory four hur­ri­cane to hit some time to­day. Flood­ing is the big­gest fear, par­tic­u­larly the deadly storm surge churned up by such a mas­sive and pow­er­ful hur­ri­cane.

The surge could threaten lives and prop­erty long be­fore the eye of the hur­ri­cane

nears shore, so the Miami-based Na­tional Hur­ri­cane Cen­ter has is­sued ex­per­i­men­tal storm surge watches and warn­ings for lifethreat­en­ing flood­ing for some 500 miles of coast­line from Boca Raton in South Florida all the way up into North Carolina.

Dev­as­ta­tion is

ev­ery­where. Ev­ery house has lost its roof. All the plan­ta­tions have been de­stroyed. – Pilus Enor, mayor of Haitian town

AP PHO­TOS

The first outer bands of rain from Hur­ri­cane Matthew pass over down­town Or­lando, Florida, yes­ter­day.

Peo­ple lay their clothes out to dry on a tree broken by winds of Hur­ri­cane Matthew in Bara­coa, Cuba, yes­ter­day.

Heather Flores holds her one-year-old son, Bronx Flores, while get­ting set­tled into a shel­ter with her other chil­dren Jay­din (cen­tre) and Paris (right) at the Ly­man High School in Long­wood, Florida, yes­ter­day.

Whit­tney Chaney (left) and Lanae Dam­ron watch the heavy surf go un­der­neath their rental house dur­ing high tide in North Top­sail Beach, North Carolina, yes­ter­day.

Guests try to pass the time in the ball­rooms of the At­lantis Par­adise Is­land Ho­tel as Hur­ri­cane Matthew moves away from the re­sort is­land in Nas­sau, Ba­hamas, yes­ter­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Jamaica

© PressReader. All rights reserved.