Haiti’s suffering is about to get a lot worse


Haiti is in its second day of national mourning after Hurricane Matthew, the Caribbean’s strongest storm in 10 years, devastated the parts of the island nation and killed at least 1,000 people.

The eye of the storm centered on the Tiburon peninsula in the south, leaving 350,000 people in need of assistance and tens of thousands of homes destroyed, according to government estimates.

TOPSHOT - People queue for food and clothes being distributed at a shelter in Port-Salut, southwest of Port-au-Prince, on October 9, 2016, days after the passage of Hurricane Matthew through Haiti.
Haiti began three days of mourning on Sunday for hundreds killed in Hurricane Matthew as relief officials grappled with the unfolding devastation in the Caribbean country's hard-hit south. And nearly a week after being devastated by the hurricane, Haiti is confronted with a growing cholera outbreak threatening to turn its disaster even more deadly. / AFP / RODRIGO ARANGUA        (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)
People queue for food and clothes being distributed at a shelter in Port-Salut, southwest of Port-au-Prince. RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images

Some villages, particularly in Haiti’s southwest, were almost entirely destroyed. The storm also damaged bridges and roads in the southern part of the hemisphere’s poorest country, making it difficult to deliver get aid to affected areas nearly a week after the category 4 hurricane made landfall near the commune of Les Anglais on October 4.

The World Health Organization is raising concerns about a jump in water-borne and respiratory illnesses with infrastructure devastated and many medical facilities severely damaged or non-functioning. With more than 28,000 cholera infections reported in the country so far this year, experts are anticipating a spike in cases of the disease that can kill quickly if left untreated. Since the storm hit, more than 50 cases new have appeared in the south.