Disasters: Haiti: Deaths from floods and earthquakes

Haiti: Deaths from floods and earthquakes

Floods in Port-au-Prince. photo

© Odelyn Joseph/AP

Heavy rain hit Haiti a few days ago. At least 51 people have died. And then on Tuesday morning the earth shook.

Floods in Haiti have killed at least 51 people. There were also 18 missing and 140 injured, according to a new report by the Haitian civil protection authority.

Accordingly, as a result of the heavy rain on Friday and Saturday, 31,591 houses were flooded. Several parts of the country, especially the region around the capital Port-au-Prince, were affected by flooding and landslides.

Haiti, which shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters and the effects of climate change because of its location and topography. Deforestation, especially for coal production, also increases the risk of landslides. The country is also prone to severe earthquakes – in 2010, a magnitude 7.0 tremor killed more than 200,000 people.

Deaths and injuries from earthquakes

On Tuesday morning (local time) there was another earthquake. According to local media reports, the strength was 5.5, the US Geological Survey USGS gave it 4.9. According to civil protection, at least two houses collapsed in the southwestern city of Jérémie. There were four fatalities and 36 injured.

Haiti is the poorest country on the American continent – which is also a result of long-term reparations payments to the former colonial power France. A lack of resources as well as political chaos and corruption make disaster control, care for the victims and reconstruction more difficult. According to the UN, almost half of the eleven million inhabitants suffer from acute hunger. In addition, there is currently dramatic gang violence and a cholera outbreak.

Hurricane season has just begun in the region – it lasts from June to November. Tropical cyclones form over warm ocean water. The number of severe storms is not increasing due to climate change, but the probability is.


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