Earth Science News  





.
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Haitians rally around cries the UN 'here to kill us'

UN makes new plea for end to Haiti unrest
Port-Au-Prince (AFP) Nov 19, 2010 - The top UN envoy in Haiti on Friday called for an end to cholera protests across the country that he said were costing lives. "Every second that passes can save or break thousands of lives," Edmond Mulet, head of the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti, said in a statement. Demonstrators must stop blocking roads, bridges and airports so that vital humanitarian assistance can reach the thousands of people affected by the epidemic, which has killed at least 1,186 people, he said. Humanitarian workers said the protests had eased a little Friday but that aid agencies were still not working in the northern city of Cap Haitien, where the major violence erupted this week.

"Oxfam was still unable to reach the area where we would like to start work in Cap Haitien," said Louis Bellanger, a New York spokesman for the aid group. "There are still some road blocks and local authorities advised us not to go in." The UN has said that the demonstrations, some of which accused the UN peacekeepers of introducing the disease to Haiti, are being "orchestrated" ahead of elections. "If this situation continues, more and more patients in desperate need of care are likely to die and more and more Haitians awaiting access to preventive care may be overtaken by the epidemic," warned Mulet, who is also the UN secretary general's special representative in Haiti. UN agencies have made several pleas for an end to the violence which they have said is threatening lives as the epidemic spreads. "If violence continues, it is the most vulnerable who will pay the price," said Myrta Kaulard, the World Food Programme (WFP) Representative in Haiti.

Four Cuban doctors sent to aid Chile quake victims defect
Santiago (AFP) Nov 19, 2010 - Four Cuban doctors who came to Chile to provide assistance in the days following a devastating February earthquake have decided not to return home with their delegation, Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno said Friday. The four health sector workers, Moreno told reporters, "have not requested asylum or protection, but have simply chosen to stay and try to find work in Chile." He said the decision on whether the Cubans will stay or leave "is up to the Interior Ministry." Earlier, when an aid group said only three Cubans had defected, Chile Solidarity with Cuba spokesman Dagoberto Hernandez told Radio Cooperativa that they included an emergency physician, a trauma specialist and an anesthesiologist. Hernandez said one of the doctors had informed him via email, calling it a "painful decision." "We do not agree with how they are going about this, because there are mechanisms for immigrating to Chile, but we understand the personal reasons behind the decision," Hernandez said.

Cuba's Ambassador to Chile Ileana Diaz-Arguelles downplayed the incident. "For those who have decided not to return to their homeland, it is a personal decision, but what is important is that most people return," she said. "What's really important, is the accomplishment of most of the (Cuban) delegation that came here to lend a hand," the ambassador added. The four physicians were part of a 1,600-strong contingent of doctors that former Cuban president Fidel Castro assembled in 2005 to aid US flood victims after Hurricane Katrina. Washington declined the aid. Twenty-seven Cuban doctors were sent to Chile following the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck on February 27, triggering a huge tsunami that swept away entire coastal villages. The twin disasters killed more than 500 people and caused some 30 billion dollars in damage. The rest of the Cuban doctors were expected to return to their country on Friday.
by Staff Writers
Port-Au-Prince (AFP) Nov 19, 2010
Rioting has spread to the Haitian capital where hundreds of people clashed with UN troops they blamed for a worsening cholera epidemic.

Stone-throwing youths raced Thursday through the rubble-strewn streets of fetid camps built for earthquake survivors as UN peacekeepers in armored trucks fired tear gas on the crowds in running clashes that lasted several hours.

Sporadic gunfire echoed through the quake-ravaged streets of the capital as demonstrators blocked roads with burning tires and dumpsters overflowing with rotting garbage.

"The UN came here to kill us, to poison us," shouted Alexis Clerius, a 40-year-old farmer, as he erected a barricade in the main Champ de Mars square.

Organizers had urged people to vent their anger at the United Nations and Haitian authorities over the cholera outbreak, which has killed more than 1,100 people since it began in late October.

The powder keg situation stems from claims the cholera emanated from septic tanks at a base for Nepalese UN peacekeepers in central Haiti, leaking into the Artibonite River, where locals drink, wash clothes and bathe.

The UN says it tested some of the Nepalese and found no trace of cholera, while health officials say it is impossible to know and the focus must be on containing the epidemic and not divining its source.

President Rene Preval has pleaded for calm and denounced unnamed groups for taking advantage of the cholera to stir tension ahead of November 28 national elections to choose his successor.

But anger, fueled by rumor, was running high in Port-au-Prince and in northern Haiti, the epicenter of the cholera outbreak and where deadly riots first broke out earlier this week, leaving three people dead.

"It's all [the United Nation's] fault. We know the Nepalese were sloppy and that's why we're sick, and now they are being bullies," said Seraphine Macoult, 36, a teacher whose daughter was a cholera patient at a medical center in northwest Haiti.

The UN peacekeeping force MINUSTAH has warned people not to be manipulated by "enemies of stability and democracy."

But in the poorest country in the Americas -- even before the January earthquake shook the capital to rubble and killed 250,000 people -- MINUSTAH is a highly visible presence and a target of widespread frustration.

"There is no infrastructure, no education. Cholera is ravaging the people and the president says nothing," said Ladiou Novembre, a 38-year-old secondary school teacher who joined the scattered demonstrations in Port-au-Prince.

"MINUSTAH should be keeping peace in the country, but instead they make things worse. MINUSTAH is killing Haitians."

Hundreds of rock-throwing youths attacked one open-top truck carrying members of the UN force.

The international peacekeepers pointed guns at the youths and one briefly fell out of the vehicle under a volley of stones before managing to climb back in.

Protesters shouted slogans like: "Cholera: It's MINUSTAH who gave it to us!" and "MINUSTAH, Go home!" One placard read: "MINUSTAH is spreading shit in the street."

The unrest is especially worrying as the UN peacekeepers are scheduled to help organize and preside over the elections.

Aid workers say the violence in the north is hampering efforts to treat cholera victims and stop the spread of the disease, which officials warn could kill 10,000 people over the next 12 months if it continues unabated.

US health experts warned on Thursday that the epidemic was unpredictable and repeated outbreaks could wreak havoc for years to come.

"The Haitian population has no preexisting immunity to cholera, and environmental conditions in Haiti are favorable for its continued spread," the the US-based Centers for Disease Control said in a progress report.

More than 18,000 people have been infected by the diarrhea-causing illness since the outbreak began last month.

One isolated case has been found in the neighboring Dominican Republic and a second in the US state of Florida -- both from people who traveled from Haiti. Dominican authorities are investigating a possible second case.

Health officials fear cholera could spread like wildfire if it infiltrates squalid relocation camps around the capital where hundreds of thousands of quake refugees live in cramped and unsanitary conditions.

Most deaths have been in central and northern Haiti, with the disease not yet widespread in the capital.




Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes



Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
New Sensor Allows On-Site, Faster Testing For Scour Assessment
Raleigh NC (SPX) Nov 17, 2010
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a sensor that allows engineers to assess the scour potential of soils at various depths and on-site for the first time - a technology that will help evaluate the safety of civil infrastructure before and after storm events. Scour, or erosion of soil around structures due to water flow, is responsible for a wide range of critic ... read more

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  


DISASTER MANAGEMENT
New Sensor Allows On-Site, Faster Testing For Scour Assessment

China says over 81 million disaster-hit people need aid

Italy ill-prepared for natural disasters: experts

Minneapolis Disaster Spawning New Concepts In Bridge Research, Testing And Safety

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Sonar System Inspired By Dolphins

New Technology Gives On-Site Assessments In Archaeology

Thales announces venture for Chinese in-flight systems

Laser camera 'sees' around corners

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
EU, Japan sketch battle lines in bluefin tuna meet

Scientists Question Indicator Of Fisheries Health

China defends Brahmaputra dam project amid Indian concern

Widely Adopted Indicator Of Fisheries Health Questioned

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
As Arctic Temperatures Rise, Tundra Fires Increase

Delayed ice threatening Canada polar bears

Drumlin Field Provides Answers About Glaciation And Climate

Report warns of dangers of Arctic drilling

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Pelletized Manure Reduces Toxic Runoff

New Revelations In Ammonia Synthesis

Chips bags too noisy for US, but a hit in Canada

Detroit's Urban Farms Could Provide A Majority Of Produce For Local Residents

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Months Of Geologic Unrest Signaled Reawakening Of Icelandic Volcano

Panama Canal said at earthquake risk

Indonesia volcano death toll rises to 273

Toll from La Nina-fuelled rains in Colombia climbs to 136

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Swazi life expectancy halved by AIDS, TB: health charity

Madagascar general says power take-over bid unchanged

UN negotiating Sudan peacekeepers increase: Ban

Rebel troops claim Madagascar government suspended

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Human Children Outpaced Neanderthals By Slowing Down

Paraguay nixes British expedition to remote tribal region

Origin Of Cells Associated With Nerve Repair Discovered

The Brains Of Neanderthals And Modern Humans Developed Differently


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement