Tuesday, June 7, 2011

rains, floods and mudslides

 The BBC has taken notice now, I see.  They have a short article (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-13689711) and this photo of people being evacuated.

They report 11 deaths, but a newer article has the total at 13.  I just found it via another Haiti blog:  http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gVkdQGZRXmFkTEgxmQcVrfwaH45g?docId=CNG.a18ed43041c849816c2cfb3ba8d306c9.531

I'll repost part of it here because this sort of link can go away so quickly sometimes:

Floods kill 13 as heavy rains pound Haiti

By Clarens Renois (AFP) – 2 hours ago
PORT-AU-PRINCE — Torrential rains lashed Haiti on Tuesday, flooding shanty towns, swamping the squalid camps erected after a 2010 earthquake and killing at least 13 people, officials said.
The worst rains to hit the impoverished country this year -- at the start of the hurricane season -- paralyzed the capital, where most of the deaths took place, Yolaine Surena of Haiti's civil protection agency told AFP.
Thunderstorms were pounding several north Caribbean islands early Tuesday, but there was little chance of the large low pressure area developing into a hurricane, according to the US-based National Hurricane Center (NHC).
Several days of rain had already swelled rivers, however, and the NHC warned that the rains "could cause flash floods and mudslides over portions of Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Cuba."
Two people died in Haiti as waters rose in the downtown tent camp near the ruined presidential palace, two children were buried when their home collapsed and another six people died in the upscale Petionville district, Surena said.
A civil protection agency official, speaking on condition of anonymity, later confirmed that the toll had risen to 13, with two people killed in the Centre region and another in Nippes, west of the capital.
Newly elected President Michel Martelly headed to the city's poorest neighborhood, Cite Soleil, which officials said was completely swamped by the rainfall and where people sought higher ground on the roofs of their homes.
"I was in the streets during the rain, and I got home, put my boots on, and I'm back in the streets to assess the situation," Martelly said in remarks broadcast on national television.
"I'm now trying to help people and distribute some food. I hope people can find shelter," said Martelly, who handed out supplies with members of his new cabinet.
The rains brought the city to a standstill, with waters coursing through the streets and cars jammed up in long lines, some abandoned by their owners. The floodwater was reportedly four feet (1.2 meters) deep in some camps.
The rain let up during the day but the forecast called for another downpour overnight and into Wednesday, raising fears that mud slides could sweep away entire camps perched on the bare slopes around the capital and other cities."

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