Tropical Storm makes landfall in Haiti

2012-08-25 12:00
Vladimir Louis, 25, sits with his three-year-old son Marvens outside their tent inside a camp for people displaced by the 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Dieu Nalio Chery, AP)

Vladimir Louis, 25, sits with his three-year-old son Marvens outside their tent inside a camp for people displaced by the 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Dieu Nalio Chery, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Haiti
    Read all about the worlds first black republic. Now R344.95
    buy now

Port-au-Prince - Tropical Storm Isaac hit Haiti with driving rain and gale-force winds early on Saturday as it came ashore in the impoverished Caribbean nation still reeling from the effects of a devastating 2010 earthquake.

"It has just moved ashore west of Port-au-Prince," Jessica Schauer, a spokesperson of the US National Hurricane Centre told AFP.

US forecasters said Isaac was near hurricane strength when the eye of the storm made landfall in Haiti, where hundreds of thousands of people are still living in squalid, makeshift camps with nothing but sheets of metal or tarp as roofs.

Earlier on Saturday, the storm displayed "faster northwestward motion" as it barrelled Haiti's southern coast, the US National Hurricane Centre said. It packed winds of nearly 110km/h, with higher gusts.

Around 400 000 people still live in temporary tent camps following the earthquake that killed 250 000 and levelled Port-au-Prince, and they have nowhere to go.

'Not ready'

The streets grew empty, and only a few, rare vehicles ventured out after dark. Earlier in the day, long lines had formed outside supermarkets as people stocked up on supplies.

"We're not ready," said Martine, who heads a watch group at a camp hosting a thousand families.

"When it rains, we stand under tents with holes in them. There are many children and we don't know what to do if we have to evacuate," she told AFP.

With no access to public restrooms or safe drinking water, residents of the Canape Vert camp complained about the lack of help from the authorities.

But a government official said President Michel Martelly, who cancelled a trip to Japan, had toured emergency shelters in central Port-au-Prince to distribute food supplies and blankets.

Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe said the entire government, including security forces, had mobilised to prepare for the storm.

Hurricane watch

Aid groups warned that those without proper shelter after the quake were among the most vulnerable if Isaac hits the capital, at risk of disease from water contamination and other disaster scenarios.

"We must now avoid any risk of a cholera outbreak by following proper hygiene," said Lea Guido, representative of the Pan American Health Organisation and World Health Organisation in Haiti.

A hurricane watch was in effect for Haiti, and a tropical storm warning was in effect for the neighbouring Dominican Republic and eastern Cuba. A tropical storm watch was in effect for the Florida Keys and parts of south Florida.

The Haiti director for Oxfam said that his group was preparing clean water and hygiene kits to help prevent the spread of cholera and other water-borne diseases.

"Nothing short of a miracle can keep people safe from this kind of storm when their only shelter is a tent," said Oxfam's Andrew Pugh.

"Haiti's disaster preparedness and response capacities have improved since the earthquake, but much remains to be done to help the poorest people cope with hurricane-strength threats."

Isaac was just west of Port-au-Prince as it swirled across Haiti at 20km/h, the NHC said.

Life-threatening floods

The storm could dump up to 51cm of rain on Hispaniola, the island Haiti and the Dominican Republic share, by the time it leaves toward Cuba, the centre said.

"These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides," the NHC warned.

After striking Haiti and southeastern Cuba, home to the US naval base and "war on terror" prison at Guantanamo Bay, Isaac was due to head on Sunday for the Florida Keys off the southern tip of the United States.

In Cuba, the government declared a state of alert in the island's six eastern provinces, where nearly five million people live.

Local authorities "must understand the possible impact of the intense rain on dams, canals and rivers," the Cuban civil defence office said, warning of blocked water drainage systems and flooded roads.

Isaac could reach Florida just in time for the Republican Party's National Convention.

Prepare for the worst

Tens of thousands of people from around the country will descend on Tampa for four days for the formal nomination of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney to challenge President Barack Obama in the November 6 election.

City officials have urged residents to prepare for the worst, and Republican National Committee chairperson Reince Priebus has expressed concern about the storm but insisted the show would go on.

In the Gulf of Mexico, oil and gas operators braced for the storm, with BP evacuating its Thunder Horse platform, the world's largest offshore production and drilling facility.

Read more on:    oxfam  |  michel martelly  |  haiti  |  weather
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zille: Only DA can challenge ANC in F State

The DA is the only party that can challenge the ANC in the Free State, opposition party leader Helen Zille says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Muizenberg - 15:04 PM
    Road name: Main Road Southbound
    HEAVY DELAYS between Muizenberg and Fish Hoek
  • Monday Sir Lowry's Pass - 13:45 PM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    HEAVY TRAFFIC over Sir Lowrys Pass - expect delays
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300

Keep it together Text. Email. Social. With all the different ways to...

From R1399.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.