PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Oct. 19 (UPI) — The damage inflicted on Haiti during Hurricane Matthew earlier this month was so great it can be spotted from space, NASA photos showed Wednesday.
The category 4 hurricane hit Haiti on Oct. 4 and left a wake of devastation. More than a thousand people were killed as a result of the storm, thousands were left homeless and physical damage was catastrophic.
Wednesday, NASA said its Landstat 8 satellite captured a series of images from space that clearly show the before-and-after difference.
The satellite images were taken on Sept. 26, a week before the storm hit Haiti, and one week after it made landfall on Oct. 12. The difference is a dramatic reduction in green areas. What appeared lush and green Sept. 26 was brown and muddied by Oct. 12.
“Generally in Haiti, land is managed in very small patches, with a household having subsistence crops in a number of locations, often on steep slopes,” Alexandra Morel, an ecosystem scientist at the University of Oxford, said. “When I look at these images, I see what seems to be seriously denuded hillsides, which I assume are from crops and fallows being washed away.”
Matthew left Haiti and continued northwest, and brought severe weather and further damage to parts of the Southeast U.S. coastline — including parts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.