As Americans along the east coast began to prepare for historic Hurricane Sandy‘s serious and life-threatening weather conditions, Friday night, Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe announced that humanitarian aid was on its way from Venezuela to help tens of thousands of Hurricane Sandy survivors, many ill with cholera, approximately 18,000 Sandy evacuees in 136 provisional shelters, and many more in tent cities.
In Grand-Goave, a mother and her four children died under a mudslide, five of 44 in the rising death toll in Haiti as of on Saturday. People are missing and authorities say the death toll could rise.
Haitians in tent cities and ramshackle housing, plagued with cholera, are now battling the Sandy’s flooding. The muddy river in the capital, Port-au-Prince is still rising, according to the Associated Press.
Nearly three years after Haiti’s earthquake left 1.5 million people homeless and thousands dying of cholera, Haitians eagerly await aid from Venezuela.
“Today, people will get cholera. Every day people are infected with cholera,” a Haitian man explained Thursday in a video.
“The people are dying of cholera. Now, we are about 6,000 people in the camp and nobody has brought us anything,” he says.
The Bri Kouri Nouvèl Gaye (Noise Travels, News Spreads) news team of the Creole-language popular media went into one of the Haitian camps yesterday to speak with people living there.
(Watch the video on this page, “Hurricane Sandy Floods Haiti’s Homeless Earthquake Victims Still Under Tents”)
“If the river busts its banks, it’s going to create a lot of problems. It might kill a lot of people,” said Seroine Pierre, 51. “If death comes, we’ll accept it. We’re suffering, we’re hungry, and we’re just going to die hungry.”
People in Sud, Sud-est, Grand Anse, Nippes in the southwest and Ouest were hit hardest. Widespread damages have not yet been quantified.
Only last week, the Bri Kouri Nouvel Gaye asked, “A proud moment for US foreign policy?”
“Secretary Clinton will inaugurate the $300 million industrial park at Caracol on Monday. Farmers were displaced off fertile land, environmental protections are virtually non-existent, and these jobs are guaranteed to keep the Haitians who work there in deep poverty.
“She’ll also visit the houses being built by USAID which Congresswoman Waters correctly referred to as the size of ‘cracker boxes.'”
Sandy’s powerful winds and torrential rains destroyed or damaged thousands of homes, stores, warehouses and plantations in Cuba, mainly in Santiago de Cuba and Holguin.
Americans brace but not in tents
U.S. officials, including the American Red Cross, now a partner of Homeland Security, are urging residents along the east coast as far as the northern part of Maine to stock up on food, water and batteries.
Evacuations have been ordered along some coastal areas, including Atlantic City beginning Sunday afternoon.
A public advisory notice issued at 8 p.m. EDT by the National Hurricane Center said Sandy packed hurricane-force winds of 75 mph, 5 mph higher than earlier reported maximum sustained wind speed.
High wind warnings are in effect for Mid-Atlantic states and Southern New England.
“Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 105 miles from the center… and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 520 miles,” the NHC said.
“Serious and life-threatening weather conditions are expected from Outer Banks to New England,” warned NBC meteorologist Bill Karins.
“People in the high impact zone from Virginia to Southern New England have one day left to make preparations and plans before Sandy significantly impacts their lives.”
“After the storm hits, expect the clean-up and power outage restoration to continue right up through Election Day,” he added.
Sources: Associated Press, Fox News Latino, Reuters, The Bri Kouri Nouvèl Gaye (Noise Travels, News Spreads), Facebook