News / Americas

Hurricane Preparations Underway in Haiti

The International Organization for Migration says efforts are underway across Haiti to prepare for a summer of tropical storms and hurricanes.  The IOM says this year's hurricane season poses a particular danger because 1.5 million earthquake survivors are living in flimsy tents and shelters in Haiti. 

International aid agencies say the challenges ahead are enormous.  They warn the coming bad weather may bring another humanitarian disaster down on the Haitian people.

The catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti six months ago killed an estimated 230,000 people, made more than one-and-a-half million people homeless, and destroyed much of the country's infrastructure.

Haiti is situated in the middle of what is called Hurricane Alley, a path that major tropical cyclones tend to take after they form in the mid-Atlantic.

Over the past five years, more than 5,000 people in Haiti were killed by hurricanes and storms.  

Jean-Philippe Chauzy, a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, says aid agencies are putting in place strategies they hope will mitigate the impact of forthcoming hurricanes, especially in vulnerable, earthquake hit cities, such as Gonaives.

"For instance, roads have been paved to make sure that assistance can be delivered to displaced populations," he said. "We have been working with U.S. funding on creating terracing, to make sure that the land can be retained, does not basically get washed away by the rains.  We have been also working on reforestation programs."  

Chauzy says IOM and its partners are preparing for the worst by pre-positioning emergency shelter materials for 25,000 families.  He says they plan to increase shelter to cover the needs for 130,000 families or 650,000 people by September.

At the same time, he says a communications system is being put in place to issue warnings to Haitians to prepare for violent weather.  He says roadside billboards and posters will provide people with advice on safety measures during storms.  

"We also are creating awareness messaging systems," said the spokesman.  "For instance, camp managers in Gonaives and other parts of the country that are vulnerable to hurricanes will receive SMS text messages ahead of the hurricanes to make sure that camp residents can evacuate areas that are prone to flooding, that are prone to landslides

So far, Chauzy says more than 5,600 transitional shelters have been built and an additional 15,000 transitional shelters are in the pipeline.  He says they cannot yet be built because not enough land is available.

He says the land issue is a big problem and likely to remain so for a long time.  He says much of the land is blocked by debris from the earthquake.  He says there are also large parcels of land whose ownership is being contested in court.

You May Like

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

Biblical passages dealing with homosexuality are central for evangelical Christians, but some now say they have been blown out of proportion More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Drylands Vulnerable to Climate Change

Billions of people rely on drylands for livelihoods More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Video Hispanics Welcome Obama Immigration Action, With Reservations

Activists say while president’s action is an important step, a more lasting solution agreed upon by Congress is needed
More

Multimedia Obama to Rally Support for Immigration Overhaul

President to hold campaign-style event aimed at convincing Americans of merits of plan in Las Vegas on Friday
More

Mexicans Hold Rally for Missing Students

Skirmishes outside Mexico City's National Palace marred a mostly peaceful rally attended by thousands of people
More

Bruised Venezuelan Opposition May Make Headway in 2015

Much-touted 're-launch' of Venezuela's opposition in October had poor turnout
More

Accused Colombian Drug Kingpin Admits to US Cocaine Scheme

For second time in two months, Daniel Barrera pleads guilty to federal charges in New York courtroom
More

Mexico's President Discloses $3 Million in Assets

Pushed by scandal over first lady's mansion, Enrique Pena Nieto's makes public value of other assets, including investments, jewelry and art
More