Aid convoys arrive as Haiti gauges full extent of disaster
JEREMIE, HAITI >> A small airstrip at the edge of town hums with activity. Aid convoys are arriving from the capital, now that some roads washed out by Hurricane Matthew have been cleared. A barge carrying food and water is moored offshore.
An international response is finally getting underway as Haitian authorities try to gauge the full extent of the staggering blow delivered by Hurricane Matthew, including hundreds dead and tens of thousands of homes obliterated.
The precise death toll remained uncertain Sunday. Guillaume Silvera, a senior official with the Civil Protection Agency in the stormblasted Grand-Anse Department, which includes Jeremie, said at least 522 deaths were confirmed there alone — not including people in several remote communities still cut off by collapsed roads and bridges.
National Civil Protection headquarters in Port-auPrince, meanwhile, said Saturday its official count for the whole country was 336, which included 191 deaths in Grand-Anse.
Haiti began three days of formal national mourning on Sunday under a decree issued by President Jocelerme Privert, even as aid began to move toward flattened communities.