Haiti

The Sunshine Economy: Haiti, Help And Hurricane Matthew

Oct 24, 2016
Rowan Moore Gerety

Drive down on Lucy Street in Homestead, take a right at a school painted pink, then a left at the stop sign and you will find yourself surrounded by Haitians in a horseshoe-shaped apartment complex. They've come to Homestead, most of them from Southern Haiti, the same mountainous peninsula that was hit by Hurricane Matthew Oct. 4.

Hurricane Matthew leveled close to half the homes in Goyave, Haiti, and ripped the roofs off many more. Wind flattened groves of plantain trees and water carried away most of the community’s livestock.

Rowan Moore Gerety WLRN

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Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN

In the Haitian town of Camp Perrin this week, Fanesse Saintsur was taking apart a section of roofing that flew off the store where he works, rafters and all.

Associated Press

Hurricane Matthew's destruction in Haiti has put on hold a new policy of deporting Haitians who are in the United States without permission but the government intends to return to it in the future, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Tuesday.

Speaking in Mexico City where he held talks with Cabinet officials on border, migration and security issues, Johnson noted that some flights to Haiti have been suspended in the wake of the storm, which has killed hundreds of people.

Cholera spreads in Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew

Oct 11, 2016
R
Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

The people of Haiti face a new terror, just days after Hurricane Matthew blasted the Caribbean nation: cholera.

“Everyone is talking about this,” says The World’s Amy Bracken, in Dame Marie, in southwestern Haiti. “Aid workers, doctors, random people I’m talking to on the streets, have been talking about this. They’re terrified.”

Cholera is a deadly water-borne disease, and it’s already taking lives in Haiti.

“They’re terrified of cholera getting worse around here,” Bracken says. “They’re terrified of people getting it and not being able to be taken to a clinic.”

Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald

Some of Hurricane Matthew's most gut-wrenching stories are coming out of the coastal city of Jérémie on Haiti's southwest peninsula – the region hardest hit.

In Port Salut, the individual signs of the Hurricane Matthew's destruction are everywhere. A giant mango tree with its thick trunk snapped like a wishbone. A cinder block house crumpled on its foundation. But it's only as you continue to drive through this part of the coast that you see the extent of the damage. The devastation goes on and on. Hillsides are swept clean of trees. Neighborhood after neighborhood is in ruin.

Dieu Nalio Chery / AP via Miami Herald

The post-hurricane news out of Haiti took a more tragic turn Thursday – as the government announced a death toll far higher than expected. As communication is regained with Haiti’s southwest, the awful reality is more apparent.

After Hurricane Matthew tore through Haiti’s rural southern peninsula on Tuesday, the country initially reported five fatalities. But that was largely because transportation to the hardest hit areas was cut off by a major bridge wash-out.

Dieu Naleio Chery / AP via Miami Herald

The news from Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew is certainly bad – especially on Haiti’s southwest peninsula. But it's perhaps not all as bad as it could have been for the rest of the western hemisphere's poorest country.

Matthew pounded southwest Haiti on Tuesday with winds of 145 miles per hour and more than 20 inches of rain. At least five deaths have been reported there - and low-lying cities like Les Cayes suffered catastrophic flooding that’s forced 15,000 people from their homes.

Screenshot YouTube

Weather Channel Meteorologist Jen Delgado is facing sharp criticism and some are asking for her to be fired after she blamed Haiti's deforestation in part to hungry children eating trees. 

In a weather report as Hurricane Matthew prepared to make landfall in Haiti,  Delgado noted that Haiti suffers from a deforestation problem.

"They take all the trees down, they burn the trees," and she continued with a curious claim, "Even the kids there, they're so hungry, they actually eat the trees."

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET with further states of emergency in the U.S.

Hurricane Matthew crashed into southwestern Haiti as a Category 4 storm Tuesday morning, dumping rain and scouring the land with maximum sustained winds of 145 miles per hour.

It is the first Category 4 storm to make landfall in Haiti since 1964, when Hurricane Cleo also hit the island nation's southwestern peninsula.

Dieu Nalio Chery / Associated Press

Hurricane Matthew is making its way through the Caribbean packing Category-4 winds of more than 150 miles per hour and dropping up to 40 inches of rain. Haiti is in its path - and.that’s the country that can least absorb the damage.

Courtsey National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians

Back in July, State Department spokesman John Kirby confirmed the U.S. had “suspended its assistance toward completion of the presidential electoral process” in Haiti.

Which means: Uncle Sam is not helping to pay for the presidential election being held in Haiti this coming Sunday. Nor will it help with the likely run-off election scheduled for January.

Other international donors, like Canada, have also cut off election aid. Simply put, they’re fed up with Haiti’s political leaders.

Archive Photo / Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Homeland and Security has a warning to undocumented Haitians en route to its southwestern border with Mexico — turn around. Otherwise, you will be deported back to Haiti.

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