Aid con­voys ar­rive as Haiti gauges full ex­tent of dis­as­ter

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS -

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.

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