As I write this Hurricane Tomas is sitting above Haiti. That country is far from recovered from the earthquake in January. Many people are still homeless or very under-housed. A recent cholera outbreak is likely going to be amplified by this newest disaster.
The Times Picayune reports:
Storm surge: A dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 3 to 5 feet above normal tide levels in areas of onshore winds in the hurricane warning area. Storm surge flooding in eastern Cuba and western Haiti should diminish on Saturday. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.
Wind: Hurricane conditions are likely occurring over portions of northwestern Haiti, and are expected in other portions of the hurricane warning area tonight.
Rainfall: Tomas is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 5 to 10 inches over much of Haiti and the Dominican Republic with possible isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides over mountainous terrain.
An update from the US government states they feel like response is well in-hand….
“As far as the U.S. Government’s response, we were well prepared. We knew that there was a very good chance that there would be a severe storm or a hurricane, and beginning in the early summer, we were doing assessments. We were pre-positioning supplies that we would need for heavy weather, things like hygiene kits and water containers, kitchen sets, blankets. We had enough in the country for a hundred thousand people. When it became clear within the last week that we were going to get a severe storm, we got a lot more in, we added enough to help another 25,000 people. So we were ready for about 125,000 people. We moved quickly.”
My prayers and thoughts are with the people of Haiti, and the responders.