Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Haiti preparing for major earthquake, tsunami
By Amelie BARON
Cap-Haitien, Haiti (AFP) May 8, 2016

A school gymnasium fills with hundreds of students seeking shelter from an earthquake and tsunami, with whistles at the ready in case they are trapped by rubble and need to be rescued.

It was only a drill but the exercise Friday is part of the Haitian government's efforts to improve its capacity to respond to natural disasters, six years after an earthquake in the capital Port-au-Prince killed more than 200,000.

Haiti's second-largest city of Cap Haitien is extremely vulnerable, located on the country's northern coast between two major seismic faults.

"This is only an exercise and you can already see the stress among the people," said Pierre Betonus, a geologist working in the emergency operations center where information about the fictional quake and tsunami streamed in continuously.

"Every decision is significant because the purpose is to save more lives, he said.

Cap Haitien's population is estimated to be about 500,000, but the city has only 23 firefighters.

"It's nothing at all but we will try to do what we can," said fire official Jean Frandy, stationed at the "search and rescue" table in the command center.

A few kilometers away, the streets of downtown were filled with students in school uniforms. As part of the drill, more than 3,700 were ordered to evacuate because of the threat of a tsunami.

"If that happened, we would really be running," laughed Cara Meillandre, moving slowing toward higher ground with her classmates in a single file line.

Although the 16-year-old and her friends were enjoying a morning outside the classroom, Meillandre was nevertheless serious when talking about the risks of living in Cap Haitien.

"Earthquakes are a big problem for us and tsunamis are also a danger here. You could survive an earthquake but be killed by the tsunami," she said.

Under the gaze of UN peacekeepers and police blocking traffic, slow-moving students were herded into the gymnasium and called to order.

"You have to repeat this exercise for years and years, so that it becomes a reflex not only among the children but also the rest of the population," said Mourad Whaba, UN humanitarian coordinator in Haiti.

Church bells rang during the drill to warn residents of danger but they could hardly be heard inside noisy classrooms.

"Sirens to inform people that they have to evacuate must be installed," Whaba said.

The drill involved a total of 4,500 people and educating the population at large will be a huge challenge.

The last big earthquake to hit Cap Haitien, in 1842, killed half of the population.

According to experts, if the 6.7 magnitude earthquake and tsunami in the drill actually struck the city, 46,000 people would be killed, 221,000 would be left homeless and half the city's buildings -- including its port, airport and power plant -- would be destroyed.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


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

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
17 missing 2 dead after collision in East China Sea
Beijing (AFP) May 7, 2016
A collision between a fishing boat and a cargo ship in the East China Sea has left 17 missing and two dead, Chinese state media said Saturday. The Lu Rong Yu collided with a Maltese freighter at 3:40 AM Beijing time, according to state broadcaster China Central Television. Passing ships rescued two additional passengers who later died, the report said, adding that search and rescue opera ... read more

Kenya demolishes 78 risky buildings after deadly collapse

Four rescued six days after Kenya building collapse

17 missing 2 dead after collision in East China Sea

Chile quake at epicenter of expanding disaster and failure data repository

Cavitation intensity enhanced using pressure at bubble collapse region

Hybrid nanoantennas offer new platform for ultradense data recording

Squished cells could shape design of synthetic materials

Engineers create a better way to boil water

A cleansing rain falls; a soil-filled mist arises

Reef system with 10,000 km2 found at the Amazon River mouth

How much does groundwater contribute to sea level rise?

Hydropeaking of river water levels is disrupting insect survival, rivers

The genetic history of Ice Age Europe

Study finds ice isn't being lost from Greenland's interior

What lies beneath West Antarctica

Insulating layer of air above the Greenland ice sheet reduces precipitation

Edible silk coating keeps fruit fresh for a week, scientists find

EU won't sacrifice food safety for US trade deal: German minister

Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels Will Help and Hurt Crops

A new resource to help manage billbugs in turfgrass

Floods following drought worsen Ethiopian hunger

Survivor rescued 13 days after deadly Ecuador quake

Survivors sought after 10 killed in Kenya building collapse

Chile ordered to pay $2.7 mn to 2010 tsunami victims

Climate-exodus expected in the Middle East and North Africa

Severe drought forces Zimbabwe to sell off wildlife

Kenya torches world's biggest ivory bonfire to save elephants

Senegal signs accord giving US forces permament access to the country

Hominins may have been food for carnivores 500,000 years ago

Neandertals and Upper Paleolithic Homo sapiens had different dietary strategies

Chimp study explores the early origins of human hand dexterity

Toward quieting the brain

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news 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. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement