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Pope sends telegram after Hurricane Matthew kills hundreds in Haiti

2016-10-07

After already traveling more than 2,000 miles, Hurricane Matthew has wrecked havoc across the Caribbean, but most especially in Haiti, where there are now more than 400 reported deaths. 

As a result, Pope Francis has expressed his condolences with a telegram, sent on his behalf by Cardinal Pietro Parolin to the president of the Episcopal Conference of Haiti.

"He assures his spiritual closeness and affection for the injured and all those who have lost their homes and belongings in the disaster. Welcoming and encouraging solidarity in implementing this new challenge facing the country, the Holy Father entrusts all Haitians to the maternal protection of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.”

With a population of 10.7 million, Haiti was still recovering from the previous natural disaster, the devastating 7.0 earthquake that struck in 2010.

Now, once again, their streets are flooded and closed due to debris and fallen down trees. People are using ropes to cross the raging currents threatening to wipe them away, as they carry what belongings they can with them. Additionally, the powerful winds and rising water levels ruined crops, killed livestock and flattened houses, which eliminates the way many earn an income in the country.  

JIM YONG KIM
President, The World Bank
"We are sending a rapid assessment team to coordinate with Haiti's partners in establishing the extent of the damage. We will be using funds from existing operations to help clear debris, repair bridges and roads, help kids return to school and clean up mud slides, which require heavy and expensive equipment.”

There is an estimated 350,000 people who need immediate assistance as they lack clean water, food and dry clothes. Due to these issues, the electoral council in Haiti has decided to postpone the presidential election that was to take place this Sunday. 

As of now, Hurricane Matthew has made its way to North America, gliding along the east coast with 120 mph winds. 


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