31 Oct 2012

Famine fears for Haiti after hurricane

10:36 pm on 31 October 2012

Haiti's prime minister is warning the country faces famine because of huge crop losses Hurricane Sandy caused in the southern third of the country.

Haiti reported the highest death toll in the Caribbean, as swollen rivers and landslides claimed at least 52 lives, according to the country's Civil Protection office.

More than three days of constant rain left roads and bridges heavily damaged, cutting off access to several towns and a key border crossing with the Dominican Republic, Reuters reports.

Laurent Lamothe says Sandy's impact was devastating - even by international standards - and Haiti is planning an appeal for emergency aid.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Haiti says stocks of food and water are running dangerously low.

Officials are also concerned about a spike in cholera and other waterborne diseases.

Cholera has killed 7400 people in the earthquake-stricken country in the past two years.