Hurricane Sandy: What about the Caribbean?

In the past week the Caribbean and America have been forced to deal with the devastating and irreversible consequences of Hurricane Sandy.

After viewing footage of the storm, it is no surprise that this disaster is estimated to cost America around $50 billion. This makes Hurricane Sandy one of the top four costliest disasters to occur in the US behind Hurricane Andrew, the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina. According to Mark Zandi, an American economist, “Sandy will cost $30 billion in damages to households, businesses and infrastructure and $20 billion in lost output from business, transportation, health care, government and other services.”

What about the damage that the hurricane caused to the Caribbean? Few media outlets have highlighted the fact that Hurricane Sandy initially hit Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba before making its way to the shores of South New Jersey. Haiti has been left with severe food shortages, Jamaica is suffering from damage to crops and 200,000 homes were destroyed in Cuba.  Yet as soon as Hurricane Sandy collided with New York, media outlets appeared to zone in on the disaster occurring throughout the US and forget about the suffering elsewhere.

Hurricane Sandy destroyed houses in Southeastern Cuba

A report from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility stated that the “total cost of damage to private property and public infrastructure is expected to reach $300 million”. This is more costly than Hurricane Irene which occurred last year and cost around $50 million less in damages.

Portia Simpson Miller, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, last week stated “”Even before the hurricane we faced serious economic challenges. This has been made worse by the passage of Hurricane Sandy”.

Further publicity of the difficult struggle that countries, such as ones located in the Caribbean, are facing would increase the public’s knowledge of the situation and encourage them to perhaps be charitable to such countries. This would help towards the improvement of negative issues countries are facing across the world.