The death toll from Hurricane Matthew has risen to 359 in Haiti, local officials told reporters, but they said they still lacked a clear picture of what they fear is the country’s biggest disaster in years.
The storm killed four other people in the neighboring Dominican Republic, the news agency added, reporting that falling trees killed many in Haiti.
As the weather began calming, convoys and helicopters have begun venturing to marooned corners of the country to assess the damage and determine how to help thousands of people who lost homes, livestock, crops and loved ones.
In Haiti’s southern peninsula towns where Matthew arrived around daybreak on Tuesday with 145 mph winds, there was wreckage and misery everywhere. The government has estimated that at least 350,000 people need some kind of assistance after the disaster, which U.N. Deputy Special Representative for Haiti Mourad Wahba has called the country’s worst humanitarian crisis since the devastating earthquake of 2010.
International aid groups are already appealing for donations for a lengthy recovery effort in Haiti, the hemisphere’s least developed and most aid-dependent nation.
Peace be still in the nation of Haiti. #PrayforHaiti