Sunday, October 9, 2016

862 Dead, 28,000 Homes Damaged, Thousands Homeless And Many In Danger Of Starvation In Haiti After Hurricane Matthew

Haiti after Hurricane Matthew
Hurricane Matthew has been tearing through the Caribbean and the Southeastern coast of America with winds of 140 MPH, bringing death, damage and devastation. Haiti is the worst hit, as the eye of the hurricane went directly over the southern and southwestern portion of the island. 

The eye of a hurricane is the most potent, concentrated and destructive component of the storm. When the eye of a category 4 or 5 hurricane, goes over land, it usually shreds structures and leaves fatalities behind. The death toll in Haiti is 862 people and counting, which is a significant amount of fatalities for a hurricane. Many drowned. A bridge was washed away in the hurricane, leaving survivors stranded and starving.

When I read the eye of  Hurricane Matthew was headed for Haiti, I tweeted that I hoped the people evacuated. Having lived through five hurricanes, including the devastating Hurricane Andrew, which demolished swathes of Miami, you learn that the eye is extremely dangerous and it is best to evacuate from its predicted path.

The earthquake of 2010 did a significant amount of damage to Haiti. As many of you know, the rebuilding funds were largely stolen by politicians Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton (severe legal action needs to be brought against the Clinton Foundation in court to retrieve the stolen billions). Therefore, Haiti does not have many adequate places that can function as a safe hurricane shelter. There were not many structurally sound places for the people in the path of the storm to evacuate.

People need to donate whatever money they can to reputable charities that are aiding Haiti with earthquake relief. Food For The Poor and Samaritans Purse are two charities helping Haiti through this difficult time. Donate whatever you can, whether it be $5, $10, $20, $100, $500 or more. We have to help them.

As stated on the site previously, Haiti's building code needs to be revised. They say experience is the best teacher. When Hurricane Andrew struck Miami is 1992, it demolished thousands of homes. This led to a change in the building code. Contractors were forced to use items such as rebar, to reinforce structures.

I've noticed photos of homes built in select parts of Haiti were constructed very close to the water. This is dangerous, because as waters rise from heavy rains, soil erosion and flooding will occur. Water is very heavy and can shift a home from its foundation. This is one of the dangers of costal building. 

After the tsunami hit Thailand in 2004, a documentary revealed hundreds of years prior, their ancestors left stone markers in the ground stating do not build beyond this point, as the waters will advance and wipe out structures. That's exactly what happened, as people had built homes beyond the point labeled dangerous, resulting in fatalities. 

A century ago in the countryside of my homeland of Jamaica, a few had not paid attention to warnings from their ancestors not to build on a specific piece of land where a river used to run, as it could turn fatal. The river was somehow diverted, but later returned to its old course and wiped out a handful of homes that had been built in what was its former path. People in the area reported hearing a loud noise in the night. There were about a dozen fatalities, when the river washed the homes away. 

Proper geological and seismic surveys need to be done regarding new homes being built in Haiti. It is best to avoid areas that have significant fault lines running underneath them. Rebar should also be used on new homes being built in Haiti. It is also possible to retrofit homes to help them withstand earthquakes. In closing, pray that positive changes will come to Haiti.