Cholera has started killing the survivors of Hurricane Matthew, say aid workers struggling to reach remote areas of Haiti.
These are fears of an epidemic as the disease spreads among people forced to drink river water after 145 miles per hour winds laid waste to the Caribbean island on Tuesday.
More than 900 people are thought to have died in the devastation. Adding to the misery, it was confirmed on Sunday 9 October that cholera has killed 13 in the coastal towns of Randel, Ande-d’Aiaul and Port-a-Piment.
“In some places it’s like the apocalypse”, said Jethro Sereme, an International Red Cross worker in the south-western town of Camp Perrin. “Ninety per cent of trees have fallen and roads are blocked.
“People have resorted to drinking river water as they don’t have any alternative. We’re very worried about a big cholera epidemic if nothing is done now”.
The official death toll of 336 is expected to rise, with some villages in mountainous areas yet to be reached. Many have seen unstable water supplies flooded by sewage and seawater.
“It took some of our volunteers half-an-hour to cross a river by foot yesterday to reach a community”, Red Cross worker Nicole Robicheau told Metro as she left Port-au-Prince for the worst affected regions.
She said disease is the biggest risk after a network of new clinics was destroyed in the storm.
About 350,000 in the country of 10million are in desperate need of help. The Red Cross has launched a £5.6million emergency appeal.