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Image: Voice of America, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
By Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer
Following a devastating earthquake and a battering by Tropical Storm Grace, Haiti’s death and injury toll has risen to nearly 10,000. After riding out the storm in buildings spared by the 7.2 magnitude quake, residents and rescue teams must now resume the search for missing people in the rubble of not only the earthquake but also the significant flooding. Still, weather and earthquake experts see more storms and quakes in store for Haiti, putting it directly in the crosshairs of climate change and natural disasters.
Why This Matters: The compounding damage caused by the earthquake and the storm have left hundreds of thousands of Haitians without essential resources, says Bruno Maes, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative in Haiti.
“Right now, about half a million Haitian children have limited or no access to shelter, safe water, healthcare, and nutrition,” he said. “Countless Haitian families who have lost everything due to the earthquake are now living literally with their feet in the water due to the flooding.”
However, despite a more coordinated aid supply line and the assistance of countries worldwide, earthquake researchers say that the country will need more support in the future, especially as storms become stronger and more frequent. A 2012 study found that the Enriquillo fault system, on which Haiti sits, is becoming more seismically active and that the 2010 earthquake may have been “the beginning of a new cycle of large earthquakes on the Enriquillo fault system after 240 years of seismic quiescence.”
As environmental groups and UN officials urge wealthy nations to make more active investments in climate action and adaptation in impoverished nations, countries and organizations supporting Haiti are taking up the helm in the hopes that they can build a more resilient recovery infrastructure. “This time around,” said Paul Farmer, a physician and co-founder of the relief agency Partners in Health, “the idea is: How can we coordinate the response so that it doesn’t become a burden for the Haitians?”
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By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor According to a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there have been 18 billion-dollar weather disasters in 2021, surpassing 2020’s disaster costs with almost three months still left until 2022. Experts say that weather events across the spectrum, including wildfires, hurricanes, and severe weather, are not […]
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