The Caribbean, Post-Sandy
Hurricane Sandy did more than wash away the Jersey Shore boardwalk and knock out Lower Manhattan’s power. Before landing in the United States, it originated in the Caribbean, and its effects on the area were devastating. Some nations, such as the Dominican Republic, were hit hard, but have been recovering steadily. Others, such as Cuba and Haiti, were not so lucky. 54 people were killed in Haiti due to flooding and landslides, and over 70% of the country’s crops were destroyed, adding further hardship to the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Many more Haitians may die, as “one and a half million…are now at serious risk of hunger.” Delivering aid in Haiti is difficult, as many mountainous regions are hard to reach, made worse by the rampant flooding. Cuba was hit hard as well. Only 28% of the entire country’s power grid is functioning. Furthermore, private homes will be the last to receive power, since priority is being given to large public buildings. This makes sense, but is still hard on those without power. Many are boiling water due to cloudy tap water, and even more can only rely on cold canned food. Sandy was a tough storm for us in the US, but we have the benefit of strong infrastructure and many unaffected areas of the country from which to draw aid and support. For many Caribbean islands, the devastation is nation-wide, and is unlikely to be an easy clean-up.