PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Monday, October 29, 2012 – Even as the United States braces for Sandy’s impact, officials raised the storm-related death toll across the Caribbean to 65, with 51 of those coming in Haiti.
While Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas took direct hits from the storm, the majority of deaths and most extensive damage was in impoverished Haiti, where it has rained almost non-stop since Tuesday.
“This is a disaster of major proportions,” Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe told The Associated Press.
He explained that the death toll jumped on Saturday because it was the first day that authorities were able to go out and assess the damage, which he estimated was in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the bulk of it in lost crops.
Sandy hit eastern Cuba as a Category 2 hurricane early Thursday and also killed 11 people while destroying or damaging tens of thousands of houses – 5,000 houses are said to have at least partially collapse while 30,000 others lost roofs.