Hurricane Matthew, the strongest storm to hit the Caribbean in a decade, swept through Haiti this week, downing power lines, flattening buildings and killing more than 100 people. Aid groups are finally beginning to reach parts of the impoverished country that were cut off as communications failed and bridges collapsed.
The damage to the southwestern port city of Les Cayes was extensive. The Post’s Mexico bureau chief Joshua Partlow traveled through parts of Les Cayes:
“If I had to estimate, I would say at least 80 percent of buildings saw damage. Many of them were destroyed,” said Margaret Traub, head of global initiatives for International Medical Corps, who was also in Les Cayes on Thursday.
The U.N. deputy special representative for Haiti, Mourad Wahba, described the hurricane as the country’s worst humanitarian crisis since a catastrophic 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck in 2010, killing 200,000 people.
In addition to the damage and destruction wrought by the storm, Hurricane Matthew leaves in its wake an increased risk of cholera, which is spread through contaminated water.
At a central hospital in Les Cayes, two new cholera cases had shown up Thursday, but the hospital staff didn’t have medicine needed to treat it. The hospital staff said they planned to reopen the cholera ward that had been closed before the storm.
More on Hurricane Matthew: