Hurricane Matthew Destroys Haiti


Kristine Toraya

Miami homes prepare for Hurricane Matthew's arrival in early October.

Kristine Toraya, News Writer

Over the past few years, hurricane seasons have been generally quiet in the Atlantic. However, this must have been the calm before the storm. Hurricane Matthew emerged from Africa’s coast and peaked at a category five on September 30, 2016, while entering the Caribbean. After ripping through poor countries like Haiti and Cuba, the hurricane posed a threat to Florida and the southeastern coast of the United States. Seeing what Matthew did to the Caribbean, Floridians severely prepared for the storm. “You never know the direction or the strength of a hurricane so, I think we prepared well enough. It’s better to be safe than sorry,” says TERRA junior Johan Navarro. Unable to properly prepare for this massive storm, the damage done in Haiti is incomparable to what was seen locally.

Haiti, a country who has a history of struggling with development, was further ruined with the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. It destroyed infrastructure, houses, and resources which will prevent any economic progression to take off as all funds will go towards repairing the damage. Houses had their roofs blown off, water supply was contaminated, and over a thousand people have died and ten thousand people are now homeless.

Land used for agriculture was obliterated and domesticated animals, such as cows, were lost. This could lead to widespread famine as livestock and agriculture is usually main source of food supply in a developing country. The flooding caused fresh-water supplies to be contaminated due to movement of debris, waste, and bacteria leading to a higher chance of contracting diseases. Cholera, an infectious and fatal disease of the small intestine, could be acquired through the consumption of infected water. The issue was presented first in 2010 during the aftermath of a massive earthquake and has now been severely magnified after Hurricane Matthew. Clinics and hospitals are filled with cholera patients and these numbers continue to rise as time progresses,

Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world and they cannot recover from this tragedy on their own. Several types of help are being sent to Haiti whether it is big organizations like UNICEF or Red Cross or smaller scale organizations in a city or in a school. “I sympathize for those who are currently affected by the damage of the hurricane and I feel they deserve to receive as much help as possible in times like this,” shares junior Allison Medina. The effects of Hurricane Matthew are simply catastrophic in Haiti. South Florida definitely lucked out that this hurricane dodged the area as who knows what could have happened.