Haiti is reeling from the blows of Hurricane Matthew, which crashed ashore on October 4, bringing 145 mile per hour winds, storm surges and up to 40 inches of rainfall.
The category 4 storm has caused massive devastation and flooding in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, which has yet to fully recover from a catastrophic earthquake in 2010.
Southern Haiti, including the port town of Les Cayes, appears to be the hardest hit. A key bridge linking the southern region to Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, collapsed. The full extent of damage is not yet known, due to the hazardous conditions and the breakdown of communications. But one local community, Jeremie, reports 90 percent of its houses destroyed or seriously damaged.
Rescue workers continue to try to reach affected areas, where many people have been hurt. The death toll of nearly 500 in Haiti is likely to rise as authorities reach more communities.
“Hundreds of lives have been lost. We have seen roofs blown off houses, damaged homes and waters flooding the streets, but we still don’t know the full scale of the damage,” says Catholic Relief Services Haiti Country Representative Chris Bessey.
CRS and local partners are responding now in some of the most affected areas in southern Haiti. Teams are working to determine the most pressing needs as quickly as possible.
With prepositioned emergency materials nearby, CRS is distributing tarps, and hygiene and living supplies to communities as quickly as possible.
Will you help families affected by Hurricane Matthew? We are committed to raising $5 million. Respond now and give a gift for our brothers and sisters in Haiti.
Thank you for your generosity.
May blessings overflow,
Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo
President & CEO
Catholic Relief Services