Haiti is predictably suffering the worst from Hurricane Matthew, the record-breaking storm that brought fierce winds, torrential rainfall, and floods to the Caribbean and southeastern United States last week. Aerial footage has revealed widespread, catastrophic destruction in western Haiti, with some towns and villages “almost wiped off the map” according to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. More than a thousand Haitians are dead, and thousands more have lost their homes, livestock, and crops. The UN estimates that 1.4 million people are in need of immediate assistance.
Many parts of Haiti devastated by Hurricane Matthew were still without aid early Tuesday, as the U.N. launched an emergency appeal for almost $120 milion in life-saving help for survivors at risk of starvation or cholera.
Food, medicine and fresh water has been arriving at the main city in the area but is slow to reach increasingly desperate remote communities.
"There's no water, no antibiotics," Herby Jean told The Associated Press in the seaside village of Dame Marie. "Everything is depleted ... We hear helicopters flying overhead, but we're not getting anything."
Haiti's leader says Hurricane Matthew's assault has accelerated the already existing cholera epidemic and undermined the strides made in fighting the disease.
"A lot of effort has been made to avoid the spread of this epidemic," said Interim President Jocelerme Privert, "but the hurricane has accelerated it."Thirteen people have died from cholera since Matthew hit Haiti, he said. This tragedy -- which has killed more than 370 people -- comes after a devastating cholera outbreak in 2010. The United Nations says it has been involved in trying to eradicate the disease in Haiti.