Storm leaves severe damage across Matthew-stricken Haiti and Jamaica

Storm leaves severe damage across Matthew-stricken Haiti and Jamaica

Heavy rains in the South Department of Haiti, heavily affected by Hurricane "Matthew" last year, caused severe damage between April 20 and 23, 2017. At least six people have lost lives, several houses were completely destroyed and at least 5 000 damaged. Heavy rains and floods also affected Jamaica, leaving at least 1 000 homes damaged.

Local authorities said Haiti's South Department was still recovering from the passage of Hurricane "Matthew" when heavy rains started on April 20. Over the next two days, fast flooding destroyed several houses and affected 5 000 in Port Salut town. Flood waters destroyed a national road bridge connecting the town with the rest of the coast of the South Department, leaving several Matthew-affected municipalities without road access. The city of Les Cayes, South Department's capital, was also flooded. 

At least six people have lost their lives, one of them by electrocution, Vant Bèf Info reported.

ECHO reported heavy rains caused important losses in crops, livestock, and fishery, jeopardizing livelihoods recovery activities focused on the most vulnerable in Matthew-affected areas. In some localities, damages on water supply systems have been reported.

Local authorities in Les Cayes have distributed feeding kits for 500 families. IOM, Haitian Red Cross, OCHA and local authorities distributed plastic sheeting to 200 households. In addition, the Ministry of Public Works has mobilized some heavy machinery equipment to improve access to flooded areas.

Heavy rains and floods have also affected the neighboring Dominican Republic and Jamaica.

72 hours of rainfall accumulation by April 24, 2017

72 hours of rainfall accumulation by 09:00 UTC on April 24, 2017. Credit: NASA/JAXA GPM, Google

Jamaica Meteorological Service issued flash flood warnings on April 21, saying that “a trough across the western Caribbean and Jamaica continues to influence the weather conditions across the island.”

Further heavy rain has been reported over the last 24 hours, FloodList reports. Kingston recorded 64.2 mm (2.52 inches) of rain in 24 hours to April 23, and Montego Bay 63.4 mm (2.49 inches) during the same period. 

Jamaican Clarendon Municipal Corporation (CMC) says an estimated 5 000 people were affected by the floods and around 1 000 homes damaged.

Neighborhoods of the parish worst hit include Bucks Common, Denbigh, Nineteen Miles, Palmer’s Cross, Sandy Bay, Milk River, Swansea and Bucknor.

Featured image: Floods in Clarendon, Jamaica on April 23, 2017. Credit: Jamaica Gleaner

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