More than 1000 persons have been confirmed dead as Hurricane Matthew levelled swaths of southern Haiti last week, with the country battling new deaths from cholera outbreak.
It was gathered that the northern Caribbean country have started burying some of its dead in mass graves even as it declared a three-day of mourning for victims of the deadly storm.
On Tuesday, the powerful hurricane, the fiercest Caribbean storm in nearly a decade, slammed into Haiti, whipping it with 230 kilometre an hour winds and torrential rains that left 1.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.
Citing local officials, Reuters news agency reported that at least 1,000 Haitians had been killed.
However, the official death toll from the central civil protection agency is 336 – a slower count because officials must visit each village to confirm the numbers.
Kedner Frenel, the most senior central government official in the Grand’Anse region on Haiti’s western peninsula, stated that authorities had to start burying the dead in mass graves in Jeremie because the bodies were starting to decompose.
Frenel added that 522 people were killed in Grand’Anse alone. A tally of deaths reported by mayors from 15 of 18 municipalities in Sud Department on the south side of the peninsula showed 386 people there. In the rest of the country, 92 people were killed, the same tally showed.
Frenel said there was great concern about cholera spreading, and that authorities were focused on getting water, food and medication to the thousands of people living in shelters.
Cholera causes severe diarrhea and can kill within hours if untreated. It is spread through contaminated water and has a short incubation period, which leads to rapid outbreaks.
The WHO also assured on Tuesday that it would send a million cholera vaccine doses to Haiti after the nation — the poorest in the Americas — began seeing cases surge after Matthew’s pummeling.