Earth Science News  





. Floods bring despair and devastation to storm-struck Haiti

A man observes a flooded street at the Saint Marc City some 96 kilometers north of Port Au Prince on September 07, 2008. With severe flooding, hundreds dead and hundreds of thousands lacking food and basic provisions, Haiti has been hit badly so far this hurricane season, with four severe storms in less than four weeks. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
L'Estere, Haiti (AFP) Sept 7, 2008
Desperate, starving Haitians trudged through muddy water away from the flooded northern city of Gonaives Sunday, a grim echo of devastation four years ago from Hurricane Jeanne, in which 3,000 died.

After a battering from three storms in as many weeks, Haiti's inhabitants despaired at a fourth, Hurricane Ike, which left some 47 dead after clipping the country's northern peninsula Sunday, the prime minister said, bringing the total to around 600.

Many feared the toll could climb higher after massive flooding over the past week in the poorest country in the Americas triggered a worsening humanitarian crisis.

"The water rose again this morning after subsiding since Tuesday. And we're hungry," said Nicolas Jean-Charles on the flooded road in northern Haiti, lifting his T-shirt to point to a hollow stomach.

As aid operations struggled to get off the ground, bridges collapsed, homes were washed away and crops ravaged.

"It's four times worse than Jeanne. Water didn't come this far then. And it rose again last night," said Pierre-Louis Nerilan, hosting four families whose houses had flooded several kilometers from Gonaives.

Some 650,000 Haitians have been affected by the flooding, including 300,000 children, and the task of delivering crucial aid has been complicated by dismal transport conditions, according to UNICEF.

Hundreds of bodies were found in Gonaives after a five-meter (16-foot) wall of water and mud engulfed much of the town.

Disaster victims spilled out of two school buses several miles outside the city Sunday.

"They're around 300 of us," said 24-year-old Denis Sanon, surrounded by a group of teenagers. "I've been here since Wednesday. No one is looking after us, there's no water or food."

Sanon said he fled Gonaives after water levels reached five-meters, but that his parents had remained behind.

"I spoke to my father on the telephone this morning. He told me that he couldn't go out because of the wind and rain," he said.

Nearby, clay and straw houses bathed in 50 centimeters (20 inches) of muddy water, surrounded by soaked fields of corn, and the tips of gravestones jutted out above the water in a village cemetery.

Further away, in the small town of Estere, among street hawkers, cars and goats, scores squeezed past each other to fill a myriad of buckets from a yellow farm truck distributing water.

The police commissioner in Gonaives told AFP by telephone that he only had around 50 officers struggling to help rescue efforts in the city of some 300,000.

"Usually there aren't enough police in this town. At the moment, we're simply overtaken by events," said Ernst Dorfeuille.

"Two Haitian police vehicles were swept away in floods, and water is coming in the police station too."

Local police officers struggled to cope in the first days of the catastrophe, before Argentinian soldiers from UN forces in the city were joined by reinforcements of heavy-duty vehicles and helicopters.

But help sent from the capital, Port-au-Prince, was blocked after a key bridge collapsed, cutting off the flood-stricken city from desperately needed aid Sunday.

At one point outside the city, the road to Gonaives suddenly disappeared in an immense sandy-colored lake.

On the horizon, sheets of rain crashed down on the sinking city.

Dorfeuille said police there were still working around the clock, despite lacking food and supplies like the rest of the population, and looking after some 240 hungry prisoners from the local jail.

"I'm organizing the police station, we're trying to keep our spirits up," he said.

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

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
600,000 evacuate as Cuba braces for Hurricane Ike
Havana (AFP) Sept 7, 2008
Barely a week after Hurricane Gustav devastated western Cuba, the island was battening down the hatches again Sunday for another killer storm, with more than half a million people evacuating Cuba's northeast coast, officials said.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • China needs 245 bln dlrs to rebuild after quake: official media
  • Ike slams Cuba, Haiti death toll passes 600
  • Floods bring despair and devastation to storm-struck Haiti
  • 600,000 evacuate as Cuba braces for Hurricane Ike

  • Bangladesh climate victims search for new land
  • Bangladesh seeks billions to fight climate change
  • Australian climate advisor urges 10 percent emissions cuts
  • Study Seeks Human Fingerprint On Western Australian Climate

  • DLR Mapping Provides Rapid Relief After Flooding In Nepal And North India
  • Ball Aerospace Begins Integration Of WorldView-2 Imaging Instrument
  • Hanna Not Moving Much Near North Of The Caicos Islands
  • Changing The World, One Student At A Time

  • Analysis: Russia scores Uzbek natural gas
  • China says Iraqi oil deal still in negotiation
  • Oil prices dive on hurricane, strong dollar
  • Destiny, Florida Creates State's First Energy Farm

  • Toll rises to 121 in Uganda hepatitis epidemic
  • Sharp unveils new anti-bird flu air purifier
  • HIV-positive Swazi women march against royals' shopping binge
  • Matsushita says new DNA technology identifies disease risks

  • Caltech Scientists Discover Why Flies Are So Hard To Swat
  • Eyes Evolved For X-Ray Vision
  • Armoured Fish Study Helps Strengthen Darwin's Natural Selection Theory
  • Study Of Islands Reveals Surprising Extinction Results

  • EPA completes river cleanup
  • Heavy Metal Linked To Poor Growth And Fertility In Sydney Harbor Crustaceans
  • Even in Europe, 20 million people without toilets: forum
  • Greenland Ice Core Reveals History Of Pollution In The Arctic

  • Melting Swiss glacier yields Neolithic trove, climate secrets
  • Study reveals Australia suffering from 'man drought'
  • Chewing gum may reduce stress
  • Scientists rebut finding of 'Hobbit' bones

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - 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