EXCLUSIVE FROM HAITI: "There are entire seaside villages that are completely off the map"

Posted at 3:06 PM, Oct 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-05 17:51:16-04

Brooklyn-born Pascal Antoine runs HaitXchange, a website that specializes in bringing Haiti's culture to the world. Normally he vlogs about events and art on the island, but starting Sunday, he used Facebook and Twitter to show Hurricane Matthew's trail of destruction.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, Antoine's photos and videos are worth millions. You can see people traipsing through thigh high water to get to hospitals, grocery stores and higher ground.
Antoine said while the storm has passed, the disaster is still far from over. The biggest concerns now are fears over mosquito-borne diseases, sheltering people who have lost their homes, and providing enough food for people who were not prepared.

A discussion with HaitiXchange's Pascal Antoine

What was it like in Port-au-Prince during the worst part of the storm?

Pounding rain. It just wouldn't stop. The rain just kept on coming and the winds were really crazy, very rough. 

What do you know about the extent of the damage?

I am in Port-au-Prince which is in the center of Haiti. We are completely cut off from the south. There are some major cities in the south that are completely cut off. A major bridge has gone down. There is death and destruction there. Houses have lost their roofs. There are entire seaside villages that are completely off the map. Things are a little confusing right now, so we are still waiting for the final toll, still waiting for the final numbers. But the south has really been devastated. Very difficult situations down here.

You know people on the south part of the island. How are they?

Some of them I have been able to communicate with and they are okay. One guy told me he lost his entire house; his entire house got washed away, and the houses of his neighbors also got washed away. But otherwise we can't make any phone calls. There's no way to make it through. All the phone lines are down. Really there's no way to know exactly what's going on in the south.


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