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1.4 million in need of aid in hurricane battered Haiti: UN

Deliveries of supplies were slowed by cut roads and communications. AFP PHOTO / US MARINES CORPS / CPL. SAMUEL GUERRA Photograph: (AFP)

WION Port-au-Prince, Ouest Department, Haiti Oct 10, 2016, 11.19 PM (IST)

Haiti faces a humanitarian crisis that requires a "massive response" from the international community, with at least 1.4 million people needing emergency aid following last week’s Hurricane Matthew,  the United Nations chief said on Monday.

"A massive response is required," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters.

"Some towns and villages have been almost wiped off the map," he said. "These numbers and needs are growing as more affected areas are reached."

The storm has left at least 372 dead in the impoverished Caribbean nation, with the toll likely to soar.

The United Nations has launched a $120 million flash appeal to cover the needs in Haiti for the next three months, AFP reported.

After battering Haiti on October 4 as a Category 4 storm, that packed winds of 145 miles (230 kilometers) per hour, Matthew slammed into the southeastern United States and killed 20.

In Haiti, more than 300 schools have been damaged, while crops and food reserves have been destroyed, Ban said.

UN aid chief Stephen O’Brien said the hurricane had triggered the worst humanitarian crisis in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake, AFP reported.

The department of Grande Anse in Haiti’s southwest saw the most devastation with 198 dead, 97 injured and nearly 99,400 people staying in temporary shelters.

More than 175,500 are in shelters elsewhere in the country, AFP said. Deliveries of supplies were slowed by cut roads and communications.

"I understand of course the frustration," Jean-Luc Poncelet, the country representative for the UN’s World Health Organisation told AFP. “the storm’s impact in the south and west of the Tiburon Peninsula has been "really catastrophic."

"When you have no means of communication, no radio, no telephone, no roads and even a helicopter can’t land -- this is what explains the massive delay," he told AFP.

(WION with inputs from AFP)

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