This week has been a week of devastation and panic as Hurricane Matthew, a huge, Category 4 hurricane tore through the Caribbean and is now on its way to Florida. These natural disasters can be devastating to countries, and we are already seeing the effects of the destruction in Haiti, Cuba, the Bahamas, and other areas in the Gulf region.
The hurricane has caused massive flooding, forcing thousands to flee.
According to The New York Times, Hurricane Matthew has already caused more than 100 deaths, and the 145-mile an hour winds left very few buildings in the country without at least some damage. They estimate that at least 1 million people have been affected by the storm in Haiti, and at least a third of them will need aide.
Many homes and other structures were completely destroyed.
This home in Cuba, another of the islands hit devastatingly hard by Hurricane Matthew, was completely decimated.
Roads, bridges, and other transit systems were massively disrupted, which will make coordinating the immediate relief needed much more challenging.
These people are crossing the river La Digue in Petit-Goâve on foot because a bridge collapsed during the hurricane.
Water systems and other utilities will also be deeply affected by the floods and massive winds caused by the hurricane.
According to The New York Times, the Haitian government is concerned about another major outbreak of cholera, a disease that has plagued the country since the earthquake in 2010. There is also a concern about food for the nation, because most of the farmland was flooded, destroyed, and/or filled with debris.
There are many different organizations already beginning their relief efforts, and they can use as much support as we can give them.
Similarly, the Salvation Army has already begun gathering supplies and preparing a relief effort, and you can donate here to give specifically to Hurricane Matthew relief. CARE Haiti is also the largest relief organization in Haiti, and you can donate here. Also, UNICEF has set up a fund for those affected by Hurricane Matthew, and 90% of the money you donate here goes directly to assist children. There are many other organizations locally, nationally, and worldwide working to help as well.