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Hurricane death toll in Haiti jumps to 271, will 'surely increase'
Published on October 8, 2016 Email To Friend    Print Version

On 6 October 2016, small towns all along the western part of Haiti suffered extreme damage from heavy winds and rains and on the coastal areas, storm surge. Hurricane Matthew passed over Haiti on Tuesday October 4, 2016, with heavy rains and winds. While the capital Port au Prince was mostly spared from the full strength of the class 4 hurricane, the western cities of Les Cayes and Jeremie received the full force sustaining wind and water damage across wide areas. Photo Logan Abassi UN/MINUSTAH

By Caribbean News Now contributor

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti -- Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste, the director of the Civil Protection Directorate (DPC) in Haiti, has confirmed that "more than 140 people died in the region of Grand'Anse, bringing the number of victims of Hurricane Matthew to 271," adding, "It's almost 300 and that number will surely increase." There are also three missing and 186 injured.

She said that the death toll of 283 reported by various news media was incorrect and had not been confirmed independently and said that the National Emergency Operations Centre (COUN) will continue to confirm the official numbers.

“Many lost their lives trying to escape the storm surge from the sea; others after their houses and their roofs collapsed on them because strong winds," she said.

According to DPC, 61,537 people are living in 192 temporary shelters. At least 178 schools were affected, some of them destroyed.

Prime Minister Enex Jean-Charles, accompanied by the ministers of planning and external cooperation, national education and vocational training and his chief of staff, were due to pay a visit on Friday to affected populations, to ascertain the condition of the infrastructure and show solidarity and that of the whole government to the victims.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said, "The waves and strong winds that accompanied the Matthew hurricane destroyed or damaged near 90 percent of houses along the coastal area of the south.”

UNEP urged officials to evacuate the occupants of small islets on the south coast and residents very near the coast.
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