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Rediff.com  » News » 400 dead, 300 injured: Haiti faces 'crisis' after deadly hurricane

400 dead, 300 injured: Haiti faces 'crisis' after deadly hurricane

October 12, 2016 10:07 IST

Haiti faces a humanitarian crisis that requires a “massive response” from the international community, the UN chief said, with at least 1.4 million people needing emergency aid following last week’s battering by Hurricane Matthew.

IMAGE: A man sits on a table in an area destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in Les Anglais, Haiti. Photograph:Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters

The storm that struck on October 3 has already claimed 473 lives, injured more than 300 people and 75 others are missing, according to the nation’s civil protection agency. More than 1,75,500 people remain in shelters across the country, many of them in schools -- which is keeping nearly 100,000 children from resuming classes.

Hurricane Matthew levelled homes, fouled water sources and killed livestock, with victims pleading for help to arrive quickly.

IMAGE: A man carries wooden planks salvaged from the rubble of a destroyed houses after Hurricane Matthew passes in Jeremie, Haiti. Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

UN aid chief Stephen O’Brien said the hurricane had triggered the worst humanitarian crisis in the country since the 2010 earthquake. The storm has also spurred a new outbreak of cholera along the coast, with at least 200 cases reported, according to the United Nations.

Many residents of the community are struggling to find food and clean water as they scrambled to repair their battered homes.

IMAGE: Sailors move supplies aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima during an onload of more than 500 Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit  and nearly 300 pallets of supplies. Photograph: Jess E. Toner/US Navy via Getty Images

An official at the Haitian airport who declined to be identified said nearly 20 tonnes of supplies -- tarpaulins, rice, cooking oil and hygiene kits -- were being brought in.

That added to 47 tons already flown in on US helicopters from the capital Port-au-Prince.

IMAGE: People are being treated at the cholera treatment center at the hospital after Hurricane Matthew passes in Jeremie, Haiti. Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

“We hope that God gives us the possibility to rebuild the church and help the victims here,” said Stephane De Rengerves, senior executive liaison officer with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

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