Mis­ery deep­ens in dev­as­tated Haiti

Baltimore Sun - - HURRICANE MATTHEW - By David McFad­den The Wash­ing­ton Post con­trib­uted.

JEREMIE, Haiti — Peo­ple across south­west Haiti were dig­ging through the wreck­age of their homes Fri­day, sal­vaging what they could of their mea­ger pos­ses­sions af­ter Hur­ri­cane Matthew killed hun­dreds of peo­ple in the im­pov­er­ished coun­try.

The hur­ri­cane killed at least 300 peo­ple in Haiti, ac­cord­ing to the na­tional govern­ment, but that fig­ure is sure to rise as aid teams reach ar­eas cut off by washed-out bridges or fallen trees. A Reuters tally from lo­cal and na­tional of­fi­cials put the death count at more than 800.

The town of Chantal and its sur­round­ings were among the worst hit, with 106 con­firmed dead.

Res­i­dents said peo­ple died af­ter be­ing struck by fall­ing trees or col­laps­ing roofs. Oth­ers dis­ap­peared in the flood­wa­ters.

“This is killing us,” said Her­mosante Fedna, 85, whose hus­band died. “There is noth­ing left to live on. Our trees and our crops are gone.”

The storm left signs of dev­as­ta­tion all around the south­west­ern penin­sula.

Out­side the coastal town of Jeremie, home af­ter home was in ru­ins.

Drew Gar­ri­son, a Haitibased mis­sion­ary who flew in Fri­day, said sev­eral fish­ing vil­lages were sub­merged and he could see bod­ies float­ing in the water.

“Any­thing that wasn’t con­crete was flat­tened,” said Gar­ri­son, whose or- ga­ni­za­tion, Mis­sion of Hope Haiti, based in Austin, Texas, was bring­ing in emer­gency sup­plies Satur­day. “There were sev­eral lit­tle fish­ing vil­lages that just looked des­o­late, no life.”

Haiti’s govern­ment has es­ti­mated that at least 350,000 peo­ple need some kind of as­sis­tance in what is likely to be the coun­try’s worst hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis since the dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake of Jan­uary 2010.

LO­GAN ABASSI/U.N. MIS­SION IN HAITI

Haitians sal­vage what they can in Jeremie, a town on the western tip of the coun­try. Hun­dreds died in the hur­ri­cane.

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