Take Two for October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy wreaks havoc in Caribbean islands

HAITI-WEATHER-SANDY-FLOOD

THONY BELIZAIRE/AFP/Getty Images

Haitians view flooding from heavy rains as a result of Hurricane Sandy on October 25, 2012 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Hurricane Sandy barreled toward the Bahamas Thursday as a powerful category two storm, after battering Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba and claiming three lives so far. The US-based National Hurricane Center said the storm was packing winds of up to 105 miles (165 kilometers) per hour as it moved north, near the top of the category two range on the five-rung Saffir-Simpson wind scale. Forecasters predicted the storm would weaken somewhat over the next 48 hours. But Sandy will remain a hurricane as it passes over the Bahamas, according to the NHC's 1500 GMT advisory.

Superstorm Sandy set records in the damage it wreaked as it churned up the East Coast. The storm is now heading inland and even though it still poses a flooding threat, its winds are diminishing. 

But last week, when Sandy was still a hurricane, it ran roughshod through the Caribbean, causing extensive damage in Cuba and Haiti.

11 people died in Cuba, and the state-run media said at least 150,000 homes were damaged. The interior of the country suffered major flooding and a major effort was underway to ship food and building materials to the areas that were hardest hit.

In Haiti the situation is potentially more dire with at least 52 people already dead from storm-related causes. Even though the impoverished island didn't suffer a direct hit from the hurricane, rains there caused major flooding and destroyed many crops.

We reached Dr. Megan Coffee, an infectious disease specialist who operates a government clinic in Port au Prince, Haiti's capital.

 


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