Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hurricane Season in Haiti

Many people have asked us about Haiti and the hurricanes. In fact, so many that it's one thing I am proud of. Our adoption and our kids have made many other people who wouldn't normally think twice about Haiti, do just that-think twice.

Below are some news reports on Haiti. They have had three major hurricane events with Hurricane Ike picking up speed. Generally speaking, Haiti is a muddy rainy mess. Ike is predicted to be a category 4 storm. Not good. Everyone knows how devestating hurricanes can be in the States where most people's homes are wood with concrete foundations or slabs. Imagine what it would be like if this was your house. And here there are trees and grasses to help keep the mud from just going everywhere. Imagine if this was what your yard looked like before the rains. (It's actually a peanut field but in Haiti yards and fields are pretty much the same thing.)

As far as I know both of our kids are okay. Conleigh's up into the mountains and Kenson's orphanage, while in PAP, has only experienced minor flooding in a storage area. But many others who had very little to lose to begin with have probably lost everything. And the rain has made travel difficult and has hampered the ability of workers to get in and out of the orphanages. I know Kenson's orphanage is having some problems getting their clean drinking water in and out. Another site to check out is . They are not where either of our kids are but have some great first hand photos.

Hurricane Hanna
GONAIVES, Haiti - Entering a flooded city on inflatable boats, U.N. peacekeepers found hundreds of hungry people stranded for two days on rooftops and upper floors Wednesday as the fetid carcasses of drowned farm animals bobbed in soupy floodwaters.

Haiti seems cursed this hurricane season, with its crops ruined and at least 126 people killed by three storms in less than three weeks. "If we keep going like this, the whole country is going to crash," moaned Mario Marcelus, who was trying to reach his family in Gonaives but didn't dare cross the floodwaters.

Rescue convoys had been trying to drive into Gonaives, Haiti's fourth-largest city, but kept turning back because lakes formed over every road into town. The Gonaives area, where about 110,000 people live, accounted for most of the 2,000 victims of Tropical Storm Jeanne in 2004. Some residents said the current flooding was at least as bad. About two-thirds of Gonaives was covered in mud, although it was difficult to determine the extent of the flooding from the air, U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Matt Moorlag said after planes conducted flyovers. Severe weather prevented the planes from assessing the situation in the surrounding mountains, and there was no way to reach the area.

On the ground, men used pieces of styrofoam as kickboards to try to swim out of town. People waited to help along the shores of the newly formed lake, and Interior Minister Paul Antoine Bien-Aime said people stranded on rooftops were becoming increasingly desperate.
The situation was dire elsewhere in Haiti as well. Floodwaters swamped a hospital near southwestern Les Cayes, and nurses moved patients to higher floors. At least 5,000 people in Les Cayes were in shelters, said Jean-Renand Valiere, a coordinator for the civil protection department.

Hurricane Gustav death toll 77 in Haiti, eight missing
PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) — Hurricane storm Gustav killed 77 people and left eight others missing when it barreled through Haiti last week, officials here said Monday.
Officials said another 36 people were injured by the storm, which last week struck the island of Hispaniola, shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti -- the hemisphere's most impoverished country -- as a Category One hurricane. Gustav regained hurricane strength as it plowed through the Cayman Islands and Cuba, and then battered the US Gulf coast on Monday as a Category Two hurricane. Officials here said some 15,000 Haitian families were affected by the storm, which leveled some 3,000 dwellings and damaged another 11,458.

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