News: Hurricane Season 2008 hits Haiti hard

Hurricane damage in Gonaives
Photos from Food for the Poor

Summary

From the Guardian

Haiti [is] from a series of tropical storms which devastated crops and infrastructure and left bodies floating in flooded towns. Three storms in three weeks unleashed “catastrophe” and submerged much of the impoverished Caribbean nation, said President Rene Preval. A fourth storm, Ike, [is striking now].

Flooded and washed out roads and bridges have made the relief effort incredibly challenging. Many communities are completely isolated with no access to food, clean water and emergency help.

FYI: The Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June to November. 14-18 storms are predicted for the year.

Fay

  • Areas most affected: Southern Departments
  • Aug 17, 2008. About 50 people in Grande-Anse died when a bus that tried to cross the swollen river Glace was swept away. NYTimes
  • 7 deaths, 2 disappeared. Excludes casualties from bus accident mentioned above. [IFRC]

Gustav: August 26-27

OCHA reports:

  • The most affected departments: South-East, South, Nippes, West, Grand-Anse, Artibonite and Centre.
  • Number of affected families: 14,594
  • 77 deaths, 8 disappeared and 35 injured.
  • 3,136 homes destroyed; 11,458 damaged.
  • Agriculture: In Fesles and Pavee a Marigot, agricultural fields are flooded. More than 2,000 livestock have drowned and more than 10 km of irrigation systems and drainage canals require rehabilitation. In Grand-Anse, preliminary assessments indicate that banana plantations are also the most affected. In Nippes, the costal areas was the hardest hit. In the South, despite limited access, preliminary information indicate that cassava, beans, peanuts and banana plantations were damaged.

Duration: 1 min 27 sec

A montage of pictures collected by Weather.com of the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav in Haiti.

Raw footage of Hurricane Gustav
Duration: 1 min 42 sec

Raw footage of Hurricane Gustav in Haiti

Hanna

  • Why is Gonaïves so vulnerable to flooding: The city lies “in a flat river plain between the ocean and deforested mountains that run with mud even in light rains”.
  • Water levels as high as 2 meters reported in some areas in Gonaïves.
  • Reports of number of casualties vary: 167-500 deaths mainly in Gonaives/ Artibonite.
  • Security remains a concern given the extreme frustration of the affected population. Assistance delivered has only covered 10% of the needs due to access difficulties. All distribution and humanitarian assessments are conducted with military escorts. The Argentinean armed forces of MINUSTAH in Gonaives have been reinforced by a Bolivian contingent, to provide security for humanitarian operations. [OCHA]
  • UNICEF reports that 650,000 Haitians have been effected by the storm.

Duration: 1min 14sec
Raw Video: Aftermath From Hurricane Hanna in Gonaives, Haiti

Parts of Haiti remain under water and cut off from the rest of the country after Hurricane Hanna dumped inches of rain. Peacekeepers have found hundreds of people in the region flooded from their homes. (Sept. 4)

Ike

  • 48 deaths as of 9/7/08 [Guardian]
  • Last bridge into the port of Gonaives destroyed
  • More than 10,000 people had left the western port of Gonaives, Haiti’s fourth largest city, to head for the next town about 45 miles to the south

Duration: 2 min 25 sec

Hurricane Ike has barrelled into the Caribbean, packing winds of 215km an hour and is now roaring over the British territory of Turks and Caicos. The Caribbean island of Haiti is likely to be spared a direct hit, after being pummeled by three storms in as many weeks. But it looks certain to get another drenching, adding to widespread flooding, that is only now starting to recede. Aljazeera’s Teresa Bo sent this report.

Related News:
A look at death toll from Atlantic storms [Miami Herald]

Related Post:
Video: Hurricane Ike bears down on Haiti [CNN]
Google Map Mashup of Gustav/Hanna damage data in Haiti

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