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Haiti Floods Devastate Harvest, Threaten Disease

The United Nations is warning that Haiti’s upcoming March harvest may already have been destroyed by the flooding of Hurricane Sandy. Sandy left Haiti overrun with devastating floods, causing widespread damage and adding thousands of people to the massive numbers already displaced by previous floods and the devastating earthquake of January 2010. On Tuesday, U.N. relief official Johan Peleman said, in addition to potentially destroying March’s harvest, the new flooding has led to a spike in waterborne disease.

Johan Peleman: "The March harvest may already be lost. This is why we urgently are asking for money for people to go back to the fields to start working those irrigation canals that have — that need to be drained. Now that half the country has been flooded, and water has in some areas — and we’re now 10 days away from Sandy — some areas are still completely inundated with water, and sanitation systems broken or needing drainage, we obviously fear a new breakout of waterborne diseases, including spikes in cholera. Between the 28th of October and the 8th of November, we had 4,000 new cases, which is almost double the average that we’ve seen for the remainder of the year."

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