Hurricane Sandy destroyed 70 per cent of the crops in southern Haiti and caused heavy deaths of livestock, while in neighbouring Jamaica it left at least $16.5 million worth of damage in its wake, said officials in the Caribbean nations.
Sandy’s rain-heavy outer bands dumped more than 20 inches of rain on October 24-25 on the southern coastal town of Les Cayes in Haiti and the surrounding countryside, causing rivers to overflow. Haiti has reported 54 deaths. Roughly 370,000 people are still living in flimsy shelters as a result of the devastating 2010 earthquake.
In Jamaica, where Sandy’s centre made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane and killed one man, the economic toll of the storm was at least $16.5 million, said Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.
The preliminary assessment includes damage to livestock and the island’s Blue Mountain coffee, one of the world’s most valuable coffee brands. The tourist resorts were not impacted and Jamaica “remains open for business”, Ms. Simpson Miller stressed. She said 71 houses had been found destroyed and 348 were severely damaged in eastern parishes.
The island’s recovery from Sandy comes as the heavily indebted country is trying to forge a new agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). So far, Jamaica has had pledges of support for storm recovery from Germany, Japan, France, Trinidad & Tobago and the U.S. Agency for International Development, according to the Prime Minister
In Cuba, Sandy killed 11 people, ripped rooftops from homes and toppled power lines. Much of the damage was in Santiago, the second-largest city.