PORT-AU-PRINCE – While Haiti was spared the eye of Hurricane Irma, heavy rain and winds swept away fields blooming with rice and plantains along coastal areas, leaving thousands of Haitian farmers in dire straits.
The agricultural ministry said that the subsistence food crops of roughly 18,000 family farms, all located in the Caribbean island’s northern region, were destroyed during the storm.
“Their livelihoods have been, and will be, severely affected,” said the country director of the World Food Program Ronald Tran Ba Huy.
He added that the WFP continues to distribute food on the island while the full extent of the damage is still unclear as post-hurricane assessments are still taking place.
Irma struck Haiti, the first independent Black nation in the western world, less than a year after widespread devastation occasioned by Hurricane Mathew, and three years into a severe drought affecting the island’s northern region.
Meanwhile, Haiti has yet to fully recover from the catastrophic 7.0 earthquake that leveled entire parts of the island in 2010 and left well over 100,000 people dead and many more displaced.
New details about Hurricane Irma’s destructive force have been detailed by Philip Klotzbach of the department of Atmospheric Sciences at Colorado State University. He noted that the hurricane was the first in recorded history to remain a Category 5 during three consecutive days and sustain maximum winds of 183 mph for 37 consecutive hours. -BERNAMA-NNN-TELESUR