Thursday, September 4, 2008

WE Continue to ASK, Where Is The International Humanitarian Assistance To Haiti ? - NONE YET After 4 Hurricanes, WHY UN ?

Aerial footage has been released of the devastation caused by tropical storm Hanna, which has left at least 170 people dead in Haiti. The nation now faces a "catastrophe," according to President Rene Preval.

Three storms in less than 21 days have killed 170 people and forced thousands to flee their homes in the Caribbean nation, officials say.

The latest, Tropical Storm Hanna, could prove even more deadly than one that killed more than 3,000 people in 2004, Mr Preval warned.

Hanna is now approaching the Bahamas, where storm warnings have been issued.
At 0030 GMT on Thursday, Hanna was about 355 miles (575km) south-east of Nassau and moving north-west, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) says.
Separately, storm Ike has strengthened rapidly into an extremely powerful Category Four hurricane in the open Atlantic, the NHC says

However, it says it is too early to determine if Ike poses any threat to land.‘No water, no food’“It is believed that compared to Jeanne, Hanna could cause even more damage,” Mr Preval said.

The Haitian leader was referring to the deadly Tropical Storm Jeanne which hit the country in 2004.

Mr Preval said he would hold emergency talks with donor countries to appeal for aid.

Haitian officials say that Hanna has left at least 61 people dead when it struck on Tuesday, but there are fears that the death toll will rise further.

The northern city of Gonaives bore the brunt of Hanna’s maximum sustained winds of 100km/h (65mph), with people on roof-tops screaming for help as floods reached depths of 2m (6.5ft).

“There are a lot of people who have been on top of the roofs of their homes over 24 hours now. They have no water, no food and we can’t even help them,” Haitian Interior Minister Paul Antoine Bien-Aime told Reuters news agency.

UN peacekeepers and aid workers have been trying to reach stranded survivors.

“The situation is as bad as it can be,” the UN’s Vadre Louis told the Associated Press news agency.

“The wind is ripping up trees. Houses are flooded with water. Cars can’t drive on the street. You can’t rescue anyone, wherever they may be.”

The impoverished Caribbean island was first drenched by Tropical Storm Fay, before Hurricane Gustav wreaked havoc last week, with torrential rainfall over heavily deforested and hilly terrain causing floods and mudslides.

Source: Badgals Radio - BBC

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