. Earth Science News .

Haitian tent cities brace for huge tropical storm
by Staff Writers
Port-Au-Prince (AFP) Aug 3, 2011

Hundreds of thousands of Haitians living in squalid makeshift camps hunkered down Wednesday as lashing rain and wind from the outer bands of Tropical Storm Emily hit the quake-stricken country.

US weather experts warned of "torrential rain" and "life-threatening flash floods and mud slides" once the brunt of Emily reaches Haiti early Thursday, compounding the misery for the impoverished Caribbean nation still recovering from a January 2010 earthquake.

Some 300,000 Haitians still living in makeshift camps almost 19 months after the quake may have to battle up to 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain cascading down muddy, denuded hillsides.

Haitian officials have raised a red alert and called for the evacuations of tent cities at risk, many perched on hillsides long since stripped bare of any trees, chopped down to use as fuel and building materials.

Authorities were spreading the word and "are asking people in refugee camps... to evacuate vulnerable locations," said Haiti's civil defense chief Alta Jean-Baptiste.

Haiti's weather service chief Ronald Semelfort warned Emily would be "a great danger for the country still fragile from the January 2010 earthquake."

At 2100 GMT, the center of Emily was some 203 miles (326 kilometers) south-east of the Haitian city of Les Cayes, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center reported.

The storm was packing winds of nearly 50 miles (85 kilometers) per hour, with higher gusts, and was moving at a speed of nearly 14 miles (22 kilometers) per hour.

"On this track, the center of Emily will cross the southwestern peninsula of Haiti early Thursday and then over extreme eastern Cuba Thursday night," the NHC said.

Emily is forecast to dump between six and 12 inches (15 and 30 centimeters) with isolated amounts of up to 20 inches (51) possible over Haiti and its wealthier eastern neighbor, the Dominican Republic, with which it shares the island of Hispaniola, the NHC said.

"Some weakening is possible as Emily interacts with the high terrain of Haiti and eastern Cuba," the NHC said. "Some re-strengthening is possible when the cyclone moves over the Bahamas."

Coastal areas were warned of a storm surge which will raise water levels by one to two feet and be "accompanied by large and dangerous waves."

Shipping was banned along Haiti's the southern coast as the storm approached,, and Semelfort said "all Haiti's regions will be affected by the tropical storm Emily."

Haiti is still recovering from the devastating 2010 quake, which killed an estimated 225,000 people. The country has also been battling an outbreak of cholera, which caused 5,506 deaths and 363,117 diagnosed cases.

A team of Cuban doctors in Haiti were on standby Wednesday to prevent any further outbreaks of the water-borne disease.

"People living in unsafe housing will be the worst affected if flooding hits," said Harry Donsbach, the earthquake response director in Haiti for the Christian charity group World Vision.

"Landslides are of course a threat, but even simply heavy rain has the potential to worsen the volatile sanitation conditions in camps, which, with cholera still prevalent in Haiti, is a serious concern," Donsbach said in a statement.

In the Dominican Republic, a maximum red alert has been sounded across six provinces, and all water and outdoor leisure activities suspended.

Mandatory evacuations were declared in a dozen villages near dams, and Dominican officials urged residents to take precautions in other areas.

"Residents in high-risk areas, who live next to rivers, streams and creeks... should take precautions and be aware of the recommendations of the relief agencies," the government's office of emergency services said.

The tropical storm warning was also in effect for eastern Cuba, the central Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos islands, US weather experts said.

In Cuba, the national Institute of Meteorology said to expect heavy rain from Emily in the far eastern part of the island by Thursday afternoon.

In the Pacific Ocean, meanwhile, Hurricane Eugene strengthened to a category four storm far off Mexico's western coast, but was heading away from land towards the north-west and into the open sea.

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

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

Hurricane Eugene strengthens to category four
Miami (AFP) Aug 3, 2011 - Hurricane Eugene gathered strength in the Pacific on Wednesday, reaching category four intensity, even though it was destined to remain far from the coasts of the Mexico, the National Hurricane Center said.

It had maximum sustained winds of 140 miles (220 kilometers) per hour and was moving west-northwest at 14 miles (22 kilometers) per hour with the center about 595 miles (960 kilometers) southwest of the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, according to the NHC.

The force of the winds made Eugene a powerful category four hurricane on the five-point Saffir-Simpson scale. The Miami-based center said the storm was expected to continue its current motion over the next several days.

No coastal watches or warnings were in effect, and forecasters said Eugene was expected to weaken beginning Thursday as it moves over increasingly colder waters. There were also no hazards currently to land.

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

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Tropical Storm Emily barrels towards fragile Haiti
Port-Au-Prince (AFP) Aug 3, 2011
Haiti on Wednesday braced for incoming Tropical Storm Emily, urging evacuations ahead of a churning system that could bring flash floods to the nation still recovering from a massive earthquake. A tropical storm warning was in effect for Haiti, the neighboring Dominican Republic, the US territory of Puerto Rico, the southeastern Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos islands, the US National Hurr ... read more

Japan to sack top nuclear energy officials

UN leader to visit Japan nuclear zone

Maritime domain awareness, emergency response, and maritime system resilience issues

Japan moves closer to nuclear payout

Japanese parents live with radiation fear

Time Inc. to put full magazine portfolio on tablets

Apple, Samsung legal tussle lands in Australia

Editions, AOL's entrant in iPad news reader race

Future of seawater desalination studied

China to explore Indian Ocean seabed: report

Hong Kong's CKI soars after British water deal

Hong Kong tycoon to buy British water utility

Arctic ice cap near 2007 record minimum: Russia

Asian glacier on a speed run

Russia may lose 30% of permafrost by 2050: official

Canada goes ahead with Arctic patrol ships

China arrests 2,000 in food safety crackdown

China allows cooking oil prices to rise

African governors discuss food prices

Plant immunity discovery boosts chances of disease-resistant crops

Huge tropical storm whips Haiti

China braces for approaching typhoon Muifa

Indian trekking hub struggling a year after floods

S. Korea offers N. Korea flood aid

South African troops to remain in Sudan

DR Congo colonel arrested for mineral trafficking: army

S. Sudan splinter rebel faction disowns peace deal

South Sudan rebels declare ceasefire: spokesman

Forest or grassland: where did humans learn to walk?

Put the brakes on using your brain power

Strength in numbers

Ancient footprints show human like walking began nearly 4 million years ago

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: 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 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. 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 Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement