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Haitians Suffer Devastation as Hurricane Matthew Batters Island

IN PICTURES: The country already faced a dire situation due to the lingering effects of the 2010 earthquake and the predations of US imperialism.

Hurricane Matthew has killed at least 261 people in hard-hit Haiti alone, where authorities and rescue workers were still struggling to reach remote areas on the southwestern peninsula as the storm powered its way toward Florida.

Haiti's civil protection service put the toll in the impoverished Caribbean nation at 108 dead, with many of them killed by falling trees, flying debris and swollen rivers. The Interior Ministry, a mayor and other local officials confirmed 28 other deaths.

The storm passed directly through the peninsula, driving the sea inland and flattening homes with winds of up to 145 mph (230 kph) and torrential rain on Monday and Tuesday.

In the coastal town of Roche-a-Bateau in Sud Department, 24 died. In Grand Anse Department, 38 more lost their lives.

The devastation in Haiti prompted authorities to postpone a presidential election scheduled for Sunday.

Poverty, weak government, continued U.S. imperialist meddling and the resulting precarious living conditions has made Haiti particularly vulnerable to natural disasters, which quickly transform into devastating social disasters. In 2010, a magnitude 7 earthquake wrecked the capital Port-au-Prince, killing upwards of 200,000 people.

In the earthquake's wake, U.N. peacekeepers recklessly introduced cholera to the country, killing at least 9,000 and infecting hundreds of thousands more.

The Pan American Health Organization said on Thursday it was preparing for a possible cholera upsurge in Haiti after the hurricane because the flooding was likely to contaminate water supplies.

teleSUR takes a look at the dire humanitarian situation in long-suffering Haiti.

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Hurricane Matthew is seen over Haiti in this image taken from NASA’s Aqua satellite Oct. 4, 2016.
Hurricane Matthew is seen over Haiti in this image taken from NASA’s Aqua satellite Oct. 4, 2016. Photo:Reuters
People walk on the road as rain falls during Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, Oct. 4, 2016.
People walk on the road as rain falls during Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, Oct. 4, 2016. Photo:Reuters
People wade across a flooded street while Hurricane Matthew passes through Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
People wade across a flooded street while Hurricane Matthew passes through Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Photo:Reuters
Supporters of Fanmi Lavalas political party splash around in water on a flooded street as they take part in a gathering while Hurricane Matthew passes in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 4, 2016.
Supporters of Fanmi Lavalas political party splash around in water on a flooded street as they take part in a gathering while Hurricane Matthew passes in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 4, 2016. Photo:Reuters
A man carrying branches from fallen trees walks next to the Cathedral after Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, Oct. 5, 2016.
A man carrying branches from fallen trees walks next to the Cathedral after Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, Oct. 5, 2016. Photo:Reuters
People walk in a flooded area after Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, Oct. 5, 2016.
People walk in a flooded area after Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, Oct. 5, 2016. Photo:Reuters
A flooded river and destroyed houses are seen after Hurricane Matthew passes Jeremie, Haiti, Oct. 5, 2016.
A flooded river and destroyed houses are seen after Hurricane Matthew passes Jeremie, Haiti, Oct. 5, 2016. Photo:Reuters
A girl walks on a tree damaged by Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti.
A girl walks on a tree damaged by Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti. Photo:Reuters
People walk down the streets next to destroyed houses after Hurricane Matthew passes Jeremie, Haiti, Oct. 5, 2016.
People walk down the streets next to destroyed houses after Hurricane Matthew passes Jeremie, Haiti, Oct. 5, 2016. Photo:Reuters
A boy stands near a flooded street after Hurricane Matthew passes Cite-Soleil in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 5, 2016.
A boy stands near a flooded street after Hurricane Matthew passes Cite-Soleil in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 5, 2016. Photo:Reuters
Emma Etienne sits in pain as she waits to find a doctor to give her a cesarean section to deliver her baby after she was sent back from the hospital, at a temporary shelter in Hotel Villa Mimosa following Hurricane Matthew,in Les Cayes, Haiti, Oct. 6, 2016.
Emma Etienne sits in pain as she waits to find a doctor to give her a cesarean section to deliver her baby after she was sent back from the hospital, at a temporary shelter in Hotel Villa Mimosa following Hurricane Matthew,in Les Cayes, Haiti, Oct. 6, 2016. Photo:Reuters
A woman covers her face as she walks next to a dead body who, according to witnesses, was found after Hurricane Matthew in Cavaillon, Haiti, Oct. 6, 2016.
A woman covers her face as she walks next to a dead body who, according to witnesses, was found after Hurricane Matthew in Cavaillon, Haiti, Oct. 6, 2016. Photo:Reuters
A man puts a rock on a barricade set up on the road to protest against the lack of assistance after Hurricane Matthew in Cavaillon, Haiti, Oct. 6, 2016.
A man puts a rock on a barricade set up on the road to protest against the lack of assistance after Hurricane Matthew in Cavaillon, Haiti, Oct. 6, 2016. Photo:Reuters
A man pushes his motorbike through a barricade set up on the road to protest against the lack of assistance after Hurricane Matthew in Cavaillon, Haiti, Oct. 6, 2016.
A man pushes his motorbike through a barricade set up on the road to protest against the lack of assistance after Hurricane Matthew in Cavaillon, Haiti, Oct. 6, 2016. Photo:Reuters
Brazilian peacekeepers speak to a resident who set up a barricade on the road to protest against the lack of assistance after Hurricane Matthew in Cavaillon, Haiti, Oct. 6, 2016.
Brazilian peacekeepers speak to a resident who set up a barricade on the road to protest against the lack of assistance after Hurricane Matthew in Cavaillon, Haiti, Oct. 6, 2016. Photo:Reuters
A man sits on a tombstone as he watches other clearing trees after Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, Oct. 6, 2016.
A man sits on a tombstone as he watches other clearing trees after Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, Oct. 6, 2016. Photo:Reuters
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