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Southern Haiti Still Without Electricity After Hurricane Matthew

Port-au-Prince, October 12 (RHC)-- The devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew has left some of the hardest hit communities of southern Haiti without electricity, making life for the displaced there even worse.  According to reports, one of the problems caused by the lack of communications is that the residents of Sud province are finding it next to impossible to collect the money sent them by family members, principally from the United States and Canada. 

Offices that provide the payment service had dozens of people lined up at their doors but didn't have enough cash to go around.  Such logistical problems made the situation worse for the displaced, who were depending on the international aid being distributed. 

Meanwhile, in Port-au-Prince, life was unexpectedly normal less than a week after Matthew barreled through Haiti, leaving an enormous humanitarian crisis in a country that has yet to recover from the devastating effects of a 2010 earthquake. 
 
The first sign of the disaster that occurred in the southwest was at some 30 miles from the capital, at La Digue River, where a bridge was torn down by the hurricane, leaving Sud and Sud-Est provinces inaccessible for several days. 

However, the water level has dropped, making it possible for motorcycles to cross, while a nearby highway opened to travel for vehicles including those of humanitarian aid organizations. 

Powerlines that had been knocked down are being repaired and most of the rubble was cleared from the route.  Piled up along the roadside were all kinds and sizes of rocks and tree branches, while banana crops and other vegetation were largely destroyed, proof of the power of Matthew's winds. 

Street vendors offered their products to travelers, while in the villages, market stalls were lined on both sides of the highway.  In Les Cayes, the best-equipped hotels were up and running following the arrival of NGO members who came to check out the situation and offer needed help.  The situation was much worse in the southwestern city of Jeremie, where beautiful examples of colonial architecture were rendered unrecognizable by Matthew. 

Cholera is also taking its toll there, adding more deaths to the growing list of fatalities, and Haiti observed its second official day of mourning Monday as decreed by the government. 

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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