BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The death toll continues to rise across Haiti after the island nation took a direct hit from Hurricane Matthew.
More than 400 people are reported dead in Haiti, and with large sections of the island still unreachable, that number is expected to rise significantly.
Hurricane Matthew slammed into the island full force, causing massive flooding and toppling homes. Power and communications remain down in much of the country.
The head of the Haitian Red Cross says there is no water: “We can’t help the people. There’s no food.”
Images of the devastation have hit hard for Bertony Paul, who has loved ones on the island.
“Half of the country is completely destroyed,” said Paul. “I was looking at the pictures of the destruction in Haiti and I started crying and I left my job last night.”
The U.S. has already sent three military ships, including a hospital ship, into Haiti. U.S. choppers are now attempting to reach people in the southern part of the country that’s been largely cut off.
“We have reports where 90 percent of buildings in some of these areas were destroyed,” said Nick Bechert of Samaritan’s Purse.
Aid workers with U.S. based Samaritan’s Purse are now on the ground trying to get desperately needed supplies to those remote areas.
“America is always there for us, anytime we are in trouble,” said one Haitian.
Bertony Paul’s family is OK. Now he’s looking to the future in his native country.
“Instead of rebuilding Haiti, we need to empower the Haitian people to rebuild their country,” said Paul.
So they can be prepared for whatever may come.
The big concern now in Haiti — fears of another cholera epidemic because of the lack of clean water.
The last Category 4 storm to hit Haiti was back in 1963, when 8,000 people were killed.
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