Saturday, August 25, 2012

brace for impact

I don't think anyone is too sure about current conditions as the storm hits.  I have an email from earlier in the day from the Port-au-Prince warden from the US Embassy. They would like updates on conditions for each area and have given a set of useful questions with which to report in.  Seems as good a way to get information as any...  Amazing what one can do with these new phones.

I don't have anyone sending me reports, but I did find a few useful updates, the first one from this evening.  So here, however limited, is the information I've been able to find.

First, the latest from the National Hurricane Center (

As is often the case, the Miami Herald has the best interviews.    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti: Haitians evacuate some tents, brace for impact of Isaac - Haiti -

An excerpt:
As Tropical Storm Isaac approached, some Haitians evacuated makeshift tents for shelters. Others decided to stay put.
By Jacqueline Charles

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- With strong winds leaving Haitians homeless even before Tropical Storm Issac’s arrival Friday, disaster officials stepped up their calls for Haitians living in vulnerable areas to evacuate to safer ground.

“Isaac is a threat to the entire country,” said Ronald Semelfort, director of Haiti’s National Weather Center. “All of the country could experience rainfall.”

But even with this warning, some continued to resist efforts to evacuate ahead of the storm. Many said they feared that leaving the camps would mean having thieves steal what meager possessions they had, or even worse give the government and aid groups an opportunity to completely shut the camp down without giving them alternative living arrangements.

“We have no trust in anyone,” said Carlo Destine, 34, a resident in camp Marassa, which is located just steps away from a dangerous river in the city of Croix-des-Bouquets.

On Friday as the winds began picking up and the rain began drizzling over a quake-battered Port-au-Prince, aid workers aborted an evacuation effort to relocate women and children to a nearby shelter.

“We’ve lived through this before, we’re not afraid,” said Lucien Pierre, 28, a mother of two, including a one-year-old, washing clothes outside her tent. “We’ll pray and watch.”

Read more here:

The NY Times says that the heavy rains have begun, which we expected. Good article:

Here's another:
An excerpt:

Government and international aid groups in Haiti's capital were prepared to evacuate several thousand people from settlement camps that sprang up in the aftermath of 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.

Forecasters said Isaac could drop up to eight to 12 inches (20 to 30 centimeters) of rain on the island of Hispaniola, which is shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Haiti is heavily deforested and just a few hours of steady rain can trigger deadly mudslides.

"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.

Isaac was centered about 65 miles (100 kilometers) 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 14 mph (22 kph). Tropical force winds extended nearly 200 miles (321 kilometers) from the storm's center.

So I'm praying especially for Les Cayes tonight.

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