PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Hurricane Sandy destroyed 70 percent of the crops in southern Haiti and caused widespread deaths of livestock, while in neighboring Jamaica it left at least $16.5 million worth of damage in its wake, officials in the Caribbean nations announced Tuesday.
Haitian Ministry of Agriculture official Jean Debalio Jean-Jacques said the government has not yet put a dollar figure on the losses. But as the top agriculture ministry official in Haiti's Southern Department, he said many poor farmers will have no food because of the hurricane's extensive damage.
Damaged crops include avocados, bread fruit, corn and some vetiver,
a grass that produces a fragrant oil used in perfumes.
The eye of Hurricane Sandy passed west of Haiti the night of Oct. 24. But its rain-heavy outer bands dumped more than 20 inches of rain in 24 hours on the southern coastal town of Les Cayes and the surrounding countryside, causing rivers to overflow. Haiti has reported 52 deaths, the most of any Caribbean country by far. Officials reported flooding across the country, where roughly 370,000 people are still living in flimsy shelters as a result of the devastating 2010 earthquake.