For nearly a year since the terrible earthquake miserable plastic-sheeting or corrugated iron dwellings have been enough to keep Haitians going.
Now hard of the heels of cholera that raised the fear of epidemic sweeping these emergency camps, comes the weather, and Tropical Storm Tomas, It is bringing high winds and torrential rain which could devastate these homes, and it could strengthen into a hurricane.
“I’m scared. I’m the camp president, the father of all these people and if anything happens to someone here it’s as if it happens to me. I don’t want anything to happen to anyone. That’s why I have this megaphone so everyone can hear me because Tomas is coming,” said one camp-dweller.
Tomas is currently west south-west of Haiti’s shattered capital Port au Prince on a path that will take it directly over both Cuba and Jamaica if it keeps its present course.
The government has begun evacuating those felt to be the most vulnerable, but the whole of Haiti is on red alert and the prime minister has made a televised appeal for people to get to safety.
Some still had not understood the danger, and resisted, thinking the camp was just being broken up. Once the threat was clear, some families faced agonising decisions, with fathers saying goodbye to wives and children as they headed off for safety.
There was not enough room for everyone in the UN’s trucks. Some 1.3 million people are still living in makeshift camps following Haiti’s January earthquake.
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