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Haiti hurricane toll soars

Bahare Khodabande/IRIN
A young boy stands in front of a neighbour’s collapsed house in Lakil de Léogâne, one of the many villages in Haiti devastated by Hurricane Matthew.

As Hurricane Matthew hits Florida, it has already left hundreds dead and tens of thousands displaced in Haiti, where the true extent of the disaster is only now beginning to reveal itself, several days after the Category Four storm struck.

Coastal towns in the otherwise sparsely populated southern Tiburon Peninsula, Les Cayes and Jéremie, took the biggest hit. Assessing the damage, and the toll, has been made more difficult because commmunications on the peninsula were down and the area was effectively cut off from the rest of the country when the storm destroyed the main road bridge at Petit Goâve.

According to humanitarian neeeds assessment organisation, ACAPS: "So far, 300 people have been reported dead, and 350,000 people are estimated to be in need of assistance. At least 15,623 people have been displaced and over 21,000 have been evacuated. 

"Some populations in the south are still inaccessible; a greater humanitarian response will likely be necessary to prevent dire long-term consequences, especially given the ongoing cholera epidemic."

The worst is yet to come

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