By Evie Chomchuen , Fan Wang , Khyati Rajvanshi

UNICEF prepares humanitarian aid to support Haitians, including 4 million children, likely to be affected by devastating Hurricane Matthew. 11 Deaths have been confirmed so far.

UNICEF has activated its disaster response plans to ensure lifesaving education, nutrition, health, water, sanitation and protection needed during heavy floods and hazardous storm surges.

Taking part in both regional and national coordination meetings, UNICEF has deployed humanitarian personnel to ensure rapid diagnosis and immediate action to support those misplaced and affected by the hurricane.

Hurricane Matthew is classed as Category 4 causing mudslides and flooding from intense rain, wind and surge waves. Haiti Representative Marc Vincent said: “This is the worst storm Haiti has seen in decades and the damage will no doubt be significant.”

UNICEF’s first delivery of humanitarian supplies contains hygiene kits, water treatment at home, mosquito nets, buckets, soap and ready-made Schools-in-a-box.

Background

Slammed on 4 October around 09.00 a.m. (GMT), Hurricane Matthew carried 145 mph winds destroying Haiti with heavy rains, flooding and dangerous storm surges. It is classed Category 4 Hurricane.

Up to 40 inches of rain is predicted to, once against, be dumped on Haiti. This impoverished island country is still recovering from the massive earthquake in 2010 and a cholera outbreak.

The UN said the country was facing the “largest humanitarian event” since a huge earthquake in 2010.

Dropped from category 4 to category 3, Matthew has now moved off the north-eastern coast of Cuba, and is likely to hit the US east coast later this week.

Hurricane Matthew was the strongest hurricane to hit Haiti since Hurricane Cleo in 1964.

 

Hurricane Matthew vs 2010 Earthquake 

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Aftermath of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake. (Photo Marco Dormino/ The United Nations United Nations Development Programme – originally posted to Flickr as Haiti Earthquake)

Hours after Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti, the government leaders are still unable fully to gauge the impact, but Interior Minister Francois Anick Joseph says there has been a lot of damage. “What we know is that many, many houses have been damaged. Some lost rooftops and they’ll have to be replaced while others were totally destroyed.”

So far 11 deaths have been confirmed. At least five deaths were caused by the storm in Haiti, with four deaths being recorded in the Dominican Republic.

According to officials, Hurricane Matthew is the biggest Haitian crisis since the 2010 earthquake that shattered the whole nation. The impact of the earthquake that struck Haiti on 12th January, 2010, with a magnitude of 7.0, caused severe damage to the infrastructure and to the population. About 220,000 people are estimated to have died and more than 300,000 injured. People were driven to live in camps, vulnerable to risks of storms and flooding.

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