Barbados, Friday August 24, 2012 – Having drenched much of the Eastern
Caribbean, whipped up waves as high as ten feet (three metres), and left
thousands of Puerto Ricans without power or water, Tropical Storm Isaac
barrelled toward the Dominican Republic and Haiti, threatening to strengthen
into a Category One hurricane by the time it makes landfall today.
as Haiti began to feel the effects of the approaching storm, Prime Minister
Laurent Lamothe urged people to avoid crossing rivers and to tape their
windows. He also advised them to ask
relatives overseas to wire money to enable them to stock up on food and water.
and other officials in the flood-prone country said that the government had set
aside about $50,000 in emergency funds and that it had buses and 32 boats on
standby for evacuations.
while Haiti's government spent the day preparing for Isaac, others simply did
not have the means. The idea of storm preparedness in a country where most of
the population exists on about $2 a day was reportedly met with a shrug.
don't have houses that can bear a hurricane," Jeanette Lauredan, who lives
in a tent camp, told the Associated Press.
400,000 people remain in settlement camps that are mere clusters of shacks and
tarps as a result of Haiti's devastating 2010 earthquake.
authorities in the Dominican Republic evacuated people living in low-lying
areas yesterday. They nevertheless encountered some resistance from residents
who feared their homes would be burgled in their absence.
Dominican government planned to close all nine airports by dawn today,
according to Alejandro Herrera, civil aviation director. Schools have been
closed since yesterday afternoon.
in Cuba, the approach of the storm led military authorities at the US base in
Guantanamo Bay to cancel pre-trial hearings for five prisoners charged in the
September 11 attacks. They also evacuated about 200 people, including legal
teams and relatives of September 11 victims.
also posed a threat to next week's Republican National Convention in Tampa,
Florida, where 70,000 delegates, journalists and protesters are expected to
descend on the city.
officials said they were working closely with state and federal authorities on
monitoring the storm.
County Sheriff David Gee said some outside agencies that had planned to send
officers to help with convention security in Tampa might be forced to keep them
home to deal with a storm.
primary concern right now is that we will lose resources," he said.
in the eastern Atlantic, Tropical Storm Joyce continues to pose no immediate
threat to land. The US Hurricane Centre in Miami said yesterday that the storm
had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph) and that it was becoming
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