World

Hurricane Matthew: Over 1,000 Dead In Haiti; 21 In U.S.

| by Ray Brown
Les Cayes, Haiti -- one of the towns hardest-hit by Hurricane MatthewLes Cayes, Haiti -- one of the towns hardest-hit by Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew caused devastating damage across Haiti, killing more than 1,000 people. And in the U.S., 21 people lost their lives.

The hurricane slammed Haiti with fierce 145-mph winds, resulting in the heavy loss of life on the beleaguered island nation, which is the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. In addition to the 1,000-plus lives lost, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said 1.4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, reports Reuters.

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The heaviest loss of life in Haiti occurred in Grand'Anse, one of ten departments in the country. Grand'Anse is located on the southwest tip of the island. There, 522 people were killed, estimated Reuters.

Mass graves have already started to be dug because of the quickly decomposing bodies.

And things could get worse.

Cholera, already a severe problem in Haiti in which progress was made before Hurricane Matthew, could spread because of the damage to infrastructure and water supplies, reported CNN.

Cholera, which causes severe diarrhea, vomiting, and extreme dehydration, spreads through water supplies and can kill within hours.

"Quick decisions and strong leadership can make or break relief operations. Right now, 1 million people need urgent humanitarian assistance. Lifesaving measures such as medical aid, clean water and appropriate information should remain the priority at this stage," said Dr. Unni Krishnan, director of Save the Children's Emergency Health Unit in Haiti on Monday in a press release, according to CNN.

In the U.S., 21 people have died, including 11 in North Carolina, four in Florida, Florida, and three each in South Carolina and Georgia.

Thousands more people along the eastern U.S. seaboard had to evacuate their homes and are in emergency shelters, while hundreds of thousands of people have been without electricity. 

Sources: Reuters, CNN (2) / Photo credit: UK Department for International Development/Flickr