Hurricane Matthew: Destruction and Desperation

Photo credit by Kaylin Story; Volunteers from Samaritan’s Purse help with relief efforts caused by damage from Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew shocked the nation, killing over 1,000 people and leaving thousands of others homeless. It lasted 12 days and caused mass destruction in Haiti and Cuba. Areas of the United States including Florida and North and South Carolina, experienced severe storm effects as well. According to Live Science, it is considered a category five hurricane, the most damaging type, with winds of up to 157 mph. The United States was able to recover for the most part but unfortunately, Haiti and Cuba are destroyed and are in need of desperate help.

When Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world, it was an ultimate disaster. The majority of buildings were completely torn down and people are now left without any money, food or shelter. In the far west of Haiti, there is an extreme loss of agriculture and livestock. According to the The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the hurricane left 1.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

Aside from all of the destruction in Haiti, a disease known as cholera has escalated from the hurricane. Cholera is spread through water or food by bacteria and causes severe diarrhea and vomiting, which leads to dehydration. If it is not treated quickly, people can die within hours.

A lot of effort has been put in to avoid the epidemic but from the extreme flooding, it is getting worse. According to CNN, 13 people have already died from cholera since Matthew hit Haiti.

Several US organizations are helping those in Haiti who suffered from severe storm effects and lost almost everything. One organization that is making a difference is Lifeline Missions. They are putting together projects that don’t require anyone to actually travel to the country but allow them to still make a big difference.

“The immediate help is working on food relief and initial shelter repairs. We are working on both purchasing food and having people pack meals here in the US to send to those in need,” CEO of Lifeline Missions, Ben Simms said.

Photo illustration by Cheyenne Harvel

People can help those in need at home as well, with online donation offers. Some examples of organizations people can donate money through are American Red Cross, World Vision or United Nationwide Children’s Fund. A small donation can truly make a difference.

“Funds are used to help get food purchased and meals shipped. Money is also raised to build a house which is an awesome fundraising project,” Simms said.

After the hurricane hit Haiti and Cuba, the United States received a lot of rain over a short period of time. The hurricane dumped more than 100 feet of rain onto North Carolina, causing major flooding and leaving many with severely damaged homes. People lost rooftops or even their entire house. “Hundreds of roads were closed, and thousands of people were forced to leave their homes,” victim, Jay Marinko said.

Not only were people left with damaged homes, but many were also left without power from telephone wires being struck down. This affected people’s jobs, as well as the school system.

“About 1 million homes were without power, some for days. Some schools were closed for an entire week,” Marinko said.


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