As Hurricane Matthew continues to hit the coast of Florida and Georgia, the devastation left in its wake is beginning to come into view.
In Haiti, the human and economic toll of the hurricane has been especially high. The most recent estimate from the government is that 842 people lost their lives due to the storm.
In addition to the loss of life, the most recent estimates of the economic damage to the nation are truly staggering. According to the Haitian aid group CARE, the damage done by Hurricane Matthew to Haiti is currently being estimated at $1 billion by the Haitian government.
As a raw number that is huge, but given the size of the country’s economy, it is even worse.
Haiti’s 2015 GDP was reported at $8.88 billion, meaning that Matthew destroyed the equivalent of 11.4% of the country’s total production of goods and services.
If the US were to lose 11.4% of its GDP, it would wipe nearly $2 trillion from its economy. That’s equal to 59.6 million times the average cost of a new car or truck. That’s equivalent to the cost of 5.5 million homes, based on US Census Bureau data. That is four times the amount the US government spent on the military in 2015.