Caribbean nations still reeling from Sandy

Haiti is worst affected country with dozens killed and there are fears of a cholera outbreak following severe flooding.

    Caribbean nations still reeling from Sandy
    Haiti experienced the highest death toll and the most damage to infrastructure from Hurricane Sandy [Reuters]

    Hurricane Sandy has killed at least 69 across the Caribbean and has left thousands homeless as the governments struggle to rebuild with the little resources available to them.

    Haiti faced the highest death toll - 54 people were killed - and the brunt of the storm's destruction when heavy rains caused rivers to overflow and flood surrounding areas.

    The storm triggered landslides and devastated infrastructure across the Caribbean nation and the government has declared a month-long state of emergency.

    Suspected cholera cases are on the rise and an aid agency warns that food security in the country is at risk.

    The storm destroyed tent camps where 370,000 victims of the 2010 earthquake were still living and officials believe that renewed cholera outbreaks have begun.

    The amount of homeless people across the country has increased by over 200,000 because of Sandy.

    Days after the storm, much of the country remains flooded and the Civil Protection office announced that roads and bridges have been severely damaged by landslides.

    Food security at risk

    The government and aid organisations distributed food, water and other items to affected residents over the weekend, but warn that stocks are dangerously low.

    The UN World Food Programme (WFP) says the damage to crops in the south of the country is the latest blow for struggling agriculture.

    "It's basically nearly all types of crops that have been affected. The drought has affected some, Isaac has affected others and now Sandy has affected the only part of the country that had remained untouched and that could still rely on a normal level of agriculture," Myrta Kaulard, a WFP Haiti director, said.

    The WFP has urged action to rural sectors can recover and meet demands for the next planting season.

    Haiti has seen violent demonstrations in the past over the rising cost of food, raising fears of renewed violence after the storm.

    Wider destruction

    The Bahamas, Cuba and Jamaica were hit directly by Sandy while it was still a Category 1 and 2 hurricane.

    The death tolls across these countries are two in the Bahamas, 11 in Cuba, two in the Dominican Republic, one in Jamaica and one in Puerto Rico.

    Thousands were left homeless across these island nations after being forced to evacuate their homes.

    The storm destroyed bridges, flooded streets, damaged homes and public buildings such as schools and hospitals and wreaked havoc on essential crops.

    Jamaica's Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller announced on Wednesday that the storm caused at least $16.5m in damages.

    In Cuba, homes and crops were destroyed throughout Santiago de Cuba, the country's second largest province, with estimates at around $88m in damages.

    Venezuela sent an aid plane loaded with food and other supplies to Cuba and announced it would also send supplies to Haiti.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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