Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

FOCUS

Many Turks angry over Syrian refugee situation

Read more

ENCORE!

Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday : The Best of the Bard

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

The Tour de France, a PR machine

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the third plane crash in one week - from France, Algeria and Burkina Faso

Read more

  • Live: ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Wreckage of Algeria plane found in Mali

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Americas

Haiti’s poorest brace for worst of Tropical Storm Isaac

Video by Shona BHATTACHARYYA

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-08-25

Tropical Storm Isaac lashed Haiti with driving rain and gale-force winds early Saturday, sparking concerns over flash floods for hundreds of thousands of people still living in squalid camps more than two years after the devastating 2010 earthquake.

AP - Tropical Storm Isaac bore down on Haiti’s southern peninsula early Saturday, threatening a city prone to flooding and dousing other areas of the poor nation still trying to recover from the terrible 2010 earthquake.

The storm swirled past the southern coast of the neighboring Dominican Republic on Friday, dropping heavy rain on that country and on Haiti. Forecasts put it on a path over eastern Cuba and on to the Gulf of Mexico, with it still posing a potential threat to Florida as a hurricane just as the Republicans gather for their national convention.

Forecasters said Isaac could dump as much as eight to 12 inches (30 centimeters) and even up to 20 inches (51 centimeters) on Hispaniola, which is shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as well as produce a storm surge of up to 3 feet (0.9 meters).

There was a potential for deadly flash floods and mudslides in Haiti because so much of the country is deforested. Tropical storms in the past have killed thousands.

“That kind of rain is going to cause some life-threatening flash floods and mudslides,” said Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the U.S. Hurricane Center in Miami.

Communications in Haiti are often spotty and there were no official reports of any damage by late Friday.

Government and international aid groups in Haiti’s capital had been prepared on Friday to evacuate several thousand people from settlement camps that sprang up after the 2010 earthquake. But the main threat appeared aimed at Les Cayes, a city of about 45,000 people on the southwestern coast that is prone to flooding during heavy rain.

Isaac was centered about 55 miles (85 km) south-southwest of Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, late Friday, and its maximum sustained winds had increased to 70 mph (110 kph). It was moving west at 13 mph (2 kph). Tropical force winds extended nearly 200 miles (321 kilometers) from the storm’s center.

Cuba declared a state of alert Friday for six eastern provinces, according to a Civil Defense announcement read on the afternoon news, and five central provinces were put on preliminary watch. Vacationers in tourist installations of those regions were evacuated.

Radio Baracoa, from the city of Baracoa on the northern coast of eastern Cuba, reported that high seas began topping the city’s seawall Friday night. Reports said lower than normal rains had left reservoirs well below capacity and in good shape to absorb runoff.

Cuba has a highly organized civil defense system that goes door-to-door to enforce evacuations of at-risk areas, largely averting casualties from storms even when they cause major flooding and significant damage to crops.

In Port-au-Prince, a city of some 3 million ringed by mountains, people went to work as usual Friday, but commercial banks closed at noon and some residents took precautions as the sky darkened, rain fell and the wind picked up.

“Just in case this gets very bad – the sky is turning gray – I’m making sure we have enough food in the house,” 25-year-old Joanne Dorville said as she carried home rice, sardines, black beans and cooking oil that she bought at a street market.

Haitian authorities and aid workers from the International Organization for Migration and the Haitian Red Cross had planned on Friday to evacuate as many as 8,000 people from a tent camp at the edge of the capital but few accepted. Two school buses that were supposed to shuttle the people to temporary shelters drove away empty.

“If I leave for a shelter, by the time I come back, everything I have will be gone,” said Charles Delizaire, a 39-year-old resident of the settlement named Marassa.

More than a hundred people were at a shelter in a school that President Michel Martelly toured along with Lamothe, the prime minister. Martelly greeted mothers and their children, but after the visit some people began to leave.

“They dragged me from the camp and brought me here,” 38-year-old Marlene Charles, thirsty and hungry, said about the aid groups. “There’s no way I’m going to spend the night here.”

In the Dominican Republic, authorities evacuated people from low-lying areas but, as in Haiti, they encountered resistance. Still, authorities said they evacuated nearly 2,900 people. The majority were transferred to the homes of relatives while about 300 were sent to government shelters.

Flooding was reported in Santo Domingo and Santiago but no reports of injuries.

Organizers of next week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa were monitoring storm developments, and authorities said there were no plans to cancel the convention.

Out in the eastern Atlantic, former Tropical Storm Joyce degenerated into a weak low pressure system Friday.

Date created : 2012-08-25

COMMENT(S)