7 October 2016
The British Red Cross has launched an emergency appeal to help people affected by Hurricane Matthew.
The category-four storm has caused significant damage and loss of life in Haiti, with heavy rain and winds of up to 145mph (230kmh) lashing the south-west of the country.
Red Cross teams in the town of Jeremie have reported massive destruction. Water and electricity supplies have been cut, while medical services are no longer functioning.
More than one million people have been affected in Haiti and hundreds of thousands are in need of help.
David Foster, from the British Red Cross emergencies team, said: “The extraordinary damage and loss of life inflicted by Hurricane Matthew is slowly becoming clear.
“Roads, bridges and communication lines have been wiped out in Haiti, which has made access to affected communities very difficult.
“Widespread flooding means there is the potential for waterborne diseases, while we are also concerned about life-threatening mudslides.
“Our colleagues at the Haiti Red Cross have been instrumental in preparing communities for the storm and they now need our support in the emergency relief effort.
“There is a desperate need for emergency shelter, clean drinking water, sanitation facilities, food and health services.”
The storm, which has also caused significant damage in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the Bahamas, is set to make landfall along the Florida coast today (Friday).
- The Hurricane Matthew Appeal will cover countries currently affected and those potentially affected in the future. In the unlikely event that we raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help us prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters anywhere in the world.