Caribbean countries and southeastern US states devastated by Hurricane Matthew
In a matter of days, 500-1050 estimated deaths occurred from Hurricane Matthew. This was ranked as the deadliest Atlantic hurricane since Stan in 2005. Several countries in the Caribbean were destroyed the worst, but several states in the U.S. were just as affected.
On Oct. 4, Hurricane Matthew made its to the Caribbean and hit coastal cities in Haiti as it was ranked as a Category 4 hurricane. It continued to sweep across the Caribbean as a Category 4 through the next four days. However, on Oct. 8, Hurricane Matthew made its way into the U.S. as a Category 1 with 75 mph winds.
Unfortunately, Haiti was the most affected. It is also one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere, and it has a history of destructive earthquakes and hurricanes that struck the impoverished island. Several people who live there have small, weak coastal shacks as their homes, which swept away in a matter of hours. Several more homes were swept away, shredding their rooftops, destroying the electricity and shutting down public transportation. Several residents in Haiti were left injured, dead and homeless.
Jérémie was a growing city in Haiti where development of highways lined across its mountains, farmers advanced their agriculture and businesses of stores, hotels and restaurants strived in the city ambience with dreams of a growing future of tourism. However, this future turned around as it was terribly destroyed from the hurricane as fallen, dead trees cover the grounds and homes remain in ruins.
Another city not too far from Jérémie is Grand Anse, which also suffered from similar effects. Grand Anse is trying all their efforts to restore their land and keep their agriculture in support by asking investors to fund the coffee planters and bean farmers. Monode Joseph, head of the chamber of commerce in Grand Anse, said, “People were beginning to better organize themselves, which was increasing our business. It’s going to be hard to get the credit we need now.” However, with no money, the outcomes for farming will struggle since, “we don’t even know everything that’s been lost.”
In addition to the fatalities, several cases of cholera were contracted, which was the worst side-effect from the hurricane. Because this country is in poverty, several residents, especially in the area of Grand Anse, lack access to fresh water and healthy sanitation. Because of this, cities were covered in the smell of feces and polluted storm water. With residents in Haiti left homeless, many more could only focus on their immediate needs of shelter.
A hurricane watch was issued on Oct. 6 for Florida, as thousands of residents evacuated towns and shelves of supermarkets were stripped. Several U.S. states in the east coast were mildly affected as well, such as North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Virginia. Forty-three deaths were confirmed and coastal cities were damaged by flooding. Several hundred emergency rescues by helicopter and boats saved residents who remained stranded on rooftops and anchored to tree trunks. Thousands are still left without electricity and schools were closed. Damages include power outages, flooding and agriculture, where it was greatly destroyed.