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Thread: 233 Deaths and Counting

  1. #1
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    Default 233 Deaths and Counting

    The death toll of the Jimani flood stands today at 233 with plenty of missing which will most likely put the final count over 500. This in a town of 11,000 means that 5% of the population was swept away to die and most of the rest are homeless and without any personal belongings whatsoever. Most likely 100% of the population is mourning a close family member, relative or friend. To put the magnitude of the experience in one survivor's tale, let me share an interview I saw on TV:

    A police corporal was asleep in his house and awoke at 3:00 a.m hearing a hellish noise (wall of water, rocks, mud and trash) and screaming neighbors. He woke up his wife and 3 kids. His wife carried their 9-year-old daughter and he took his other two younger kids (one 6, one 2-1/2), one in each arm and proceeded to leave the house. Immediately upon opening the door they were swept away, in total darkness of course, and his two kids were taken from his arms by the force of the water.

    He lost sight of his wife and daughter and remembers running into a still-standing tree and climbing it while fighting against the force of the water. He was able to do it and survived. His wife disappeared and her body has since been found. His 9-year-old was swept away but became stuck to a grave in the town's cemetery (on the tomb of her cousin that had died 2 years before, by incredible coincidence!) and survived although with fractures and bruises. The two younger kids are missing and most likely buried in the mud as most of those missing most likely are.

    The man narrates that he lost a sister with her entire family and estimates that at least 20 other members of his relatives have been lost, although he says it's too early to be able to tell exactly. An incredible tale that is multiplied many times over.

    Unfortunately, this happens to the most unfortunate and Jimani is in one of the most depressed areas of the country. I remember going thru there on a bike tour a few years back and being surprised by the level of poverty and lack of the most basic commodities of the 21st century. While we go happily along in our daily lives, it's good to remember: 'There, but for the grace of God...'

  2. #2
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    Default More trees need to be planted.

    Most of those streams and rivers that are now causing problems in the Jimani - Haiti area is mostly due to the wiping out of trees, especially on the Haitian side of the border. Many of the rivers in that area start in Haiti. Ever since the trees were cut on the Haitian side, the rivers dried up. Everytime there is a strong storm there are no trees to hold the ground in place and the old river beds fill up quickly. With the ground being so dry (because of desertification due to the lack of trees) the ground doesn't absorbs the water properly, and voila, you got a major desaster. After this nightmare ends, there should be a re-planting initiative in Haiti. At least where the old streams start to prevent such misfortune.

  3. #3
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    Default And The Extraction Of The River Beds

    Quote Originally Posted by Nal0whs
    Most of those streams and rivers that are now causing problems in the Jimani - Haiti area is mostly due to the wiping out of trees, especially on the Haitian side of the border. Many of the rivers in that area start in Haiti. Ever since the trees were cut on the Haitian side, the rivers dried up. Everytime there is a strong storm there are no trees to hold the ground in place and the old river beds fill up quickly. With the ground being so dry (because of desertification due to the lack of trees) the ground doesn't absorbs the water properly, and voila, you got a major desaster. After this nightmare ends, there should be a re-planting initiative in Haiti. At least where the old streams start to prevent such misfortune.
    Yes, this is absolutely so but there is another factor which was pointed out in an article in Listin Diario today. The extraction of sand/gravel from the river bed for construction material. This is done all over the country but it is most critical in the deep southwest where the under-development is acute. The Nizao River, near Bani, has been ravaged and the endless trucks on the dangerous highway to Santo Domingo are a menace to everyone.

    Total lack of concern from 'the authorities'. This great problem is driven by powerful interests including civilian and military officials. Leonel Fernandez's government did not stop this in their 4 years last time, neither did Hipolito Mejia's government and I doubt Leonel will do it differently this time around either, although I am a great supporter of his; for now.

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    Default some pics

    Go here and open the picture file. A friend of mine that is a photographer for the papers was there esterday. He said he doesn't even want to talk about what he saw right now. It was too terriblewww.elcaribecdn.com.do

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