October 3, 2022

Tropical Storm Tomas Likely To Beat Up On Haiti


Haiti braces to be hit by tropical storm Tomas. Image © Kaarsten | Dreamstime.com

Haiti, the scene for more than its fair share of natural disasters and trauma the last few years, is about to take a few more punches. This time from Tropical Storm Tomas.

The storm is expected to reach hurricane strength as it sweeps past Haiti and Port-Au-Prince, impacting but not delivering a direct hit to the country. Unfortunately the storm will dump heavy rains on the area that forecasters are anticipating will last for days.

Due to the lack of infrastructure, abundance of coastal villages and makeshift settlements, the risks of deadly flooding increases with every bit of rain dumped. Add an increased danger of mudslides into the mix, particularly with the barren hillsides, and disaster seems imminent.

The Haitian government, along with workers from the United Nations and other groups offering aid, urged people to move from the areas most vulnerable to the rains and weather. They’re encouraging residents in cities like Les Cayes, a coastal city of 40,000 where flood risks are high, to move to higher ground.

What makes preventative efforts more difficult is the lack of government resources to simply evacuate everyone in areas that will feel the most effects of Tomas. Few appear to be following the broadcasts that are being sponsored by the government along with text appeals.