If you took hundreds of multicolored matchsticks and shook them around in a shallow box, it would look a lot like the aerial photos now coming in from the southwestern part of Haiti. As the U.S. buckles down to deal with Hurricane Matthew, three days after striking the island of Hispaniola, we’re only now realizing the scale and scope of the destruction there.
Although the Haitian capital city was spared from the worst damage, information of the devastation to rural towns and cities has been trickling in. As the water recedes, more bodies are found. A faith-based relief group from Stafford, Texas called Living Water International had a team already working in Haiti before the storm, trying to help with the effects of a cholera epidemic.
Wesley Charles is the group’s vice president of Latin America and the Caribbean. He says there are 34 of his staffers on the ground. And while the effects of Hurricane Matthew are devastating on their own, they are compounded by the country’s economic and health problems caused by the earthquake of 2010.
“Haiti was hit by an earthquake, that was in 2010 and the damage is very sad – this morning I heard from the Haitian government, they talk about something like 164 people are reported dead that was just last night,” Charles says. “This morning again, I keep receiving new reports from the field, so we are close to 275 people dead from these hurricanes. So that gives you an idea of the magnitude of this hurricane.”
What you’ll hear in this segment:
– How the hurricane creates obstacles in trying to combat cholera
– What Americans should know about Haiti aside from reports of disaster