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Catastophic earthquake rocks Haiti

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 3:45 PM GMT on January 13, 2010

After making it through the hurricane season of 2009 without a scratch, Haiti's terrible earthquake of January 12, 2010 has brought a catastrophe of unfathomable magnitude to the impoverished people of Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. The magnitude 7.0 earthquake was centered just ten miles southwest of the capital of Port-au-Prince, at a shallow depth of 6.2 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The shock occurred in the boundary region separating the Caribbean plate and the North America plate. The two plates slide past each other at a rate of about 0.8 inches (20 mm) per year, with the Caribbean plate moving eastward with respect to the North America plate. The fault that produced the quake is called the Enriquillo-Plaintain Garden fault system, and last produced a major earthquake in 1860. According to the USGS (Figure 1), 238,000 people near the quake's epicenter experienced violent to extreme shaking, capable of causing very heavy damage. A further 3.2 million people experienced very strong to severe shaking, capable of causing moderate to heavy damage. Another 1.3 million people experienced strong shaking, capable of causing moderate damage. Haiti's total population is just 9 million, so half the country's population lived in areas that received moderate to very heavy damage from the earthquake. The quake did not generate a large tsunami, though a tsunami of 5 inches (12 cm) was recorded at Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. It is possible that a local scale, moderately destructive tsunami was generated close to the shores of Port-au-Prince.


Figure 1. Earthquake shaking map for the January 12, 2010 Haitian earthquake, from the USGS. According to the USGS, 238,000 people near the quake's epicenter experienced violent to extreme shaking, capable of causing very heavy damage. A further 3.2 million people experienced very strong to severe shaking, capable of causing moderate to heavy damage. Another 1.3 million people experienced strong shaking, capable of causing moderate damage. Haiti's total population is just 9 million, so half the country's population lived in areas that received moderate to very heavy damage from the earthquake.

One of the greatest natural disasters in Haitian history
In many ways, the hurricane season of 2008 was the cruelest ever experienced in Haiti. Four storms--Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike--dumped heavy rains on the impoverished nation. The rugged hillsides, stripped bare of 98% of their forest cover thanks to deforestation, let flood waters rampage into large areas of the country. Particularly hard-hit was Gonaives, the fourth largest city. According to reliefweb.org, Haiti suffered 793 killed, with 310 missing and another 593 injured. The hurricanes destroyed 22,702 homes and damaged another 84,625. About 800,000 people were affected--8% of Haiti's total population. The flood wiped out 70% of Haiti's crops, resulting in dozens of deaths of children due to malnutrition in the months following the storms. Damage was estimated at over $1 billion, the costliest natural disaster in Haitian history. The damage amounted to over 5% of the country's $17 billion GDP, a massive blow for a nation so poor.

Thus when it became clear that the hurricane season of 2009 would spare Haiti further misery, I was delighted that our suffering neighbors would get a chance to regroup and rebuild. But the unimaginable destruction wrought by yesterday's quake is a staggering blow for a nation so poor. When the damage is tallied and compared to Haiti's GDP of $17 billion, the earthquake of 2010 could well prove to be one of the most devastating disasters in world history. Further, Haiti's population is only 9 million, and the number of people killed, injured, and made homeless will make up a huge fraction of the Haitian population.


Figure 2. An earthquake hazard map for the Caribbean reveals that yesterday's quake occurred in a relatively low-risk portion of the Caribbean. Image credit: USGS.

Haitian earthquake history
The western portion of Haiti where yesterday's quake occurred is in a relatively low seismic risk region of the Caribbean (Figure 2). Large quakes are uncommon in Haiti. The worst quake in Haitian history was probably the May 7, 1842 magnitude 7.7 Cap-Haitien earthquake. This massive tremor hit a fault on the northern portion of the island, killing 10,000; three hundred of these deaths were from a large tsunami generated by the quake. One of the largest cities in Haiti--Cap-Haitien, with a population of 60,000--was destroyed, with the loss of 6,000 lives.

Caribbean earthquake history
The Eastern Caribbean is no stranger to devastating earthquakes. The Caribbean Plate slides against the North American Plate along a line running through most of the islands in the Eastern Caribbean, generating frequent earthquakes. According to the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center, the most severe quake to hit the region occurred on February 8, 1843, when a tremor estimated at 8.0 - 8.5 on the Richter Scale struck the Lesser Antilles Islands. Heavy damage was reported from St. Maarten to Dominica. In Antigua, the English Harbour sank. In Point-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, all masonry construction was destroyed, and a fire broke out that burned down the remaining wooden structures. One third of the population, estimated at 4,000 - 6,000 persons, perished. The event was felt as far south as Caracas and British Guiana and was even felt 2,000 km away in Washington D.C., Vermont, and Charlestown, South Carolina. The largest Eastern Caribbean earthquake recorded by modern seismographs was the El Cibao earthquake in the Dominican Republic in 1946. The earthquake was of magnitude 8.1 and generated a tsunami which caused 75 deaths and rendered 20,000 homeless.


Figure 3. Smoke and dust rise from the rubble of Port-au-Prince a few minutes after the catastrophic earthquake of January 12, 2010. Image is from an anonymous YouTube video taken from a house overlooking Port-au-Prince.

Lambi Fund of Haiti and Portlight mobilize to help out
For the past five years, I've been a contributor and booster of the Lambi Fund of Haiti, a charity that is very active in promoting reforestation efforts, use of alternative fuels, and infrastructure improvements at a grass-roots level in Haiti. I've developed a great respect for the work they do in the country, and have gotten to know Karen Ashmore, the executive director of the charity, and have written articles for their newsletter. Karen wrote me last night with this plea for help: "Most buildings in Port-Au-Prince have been damaged or have collapsed, which would include homes of staff and families we work with, as well as the grain mills, sugar cane mills, and sites for community economic development. And cisterns and latrines we have supported for safe drinking water and sanitation. Major rebuilding effort needed. Please post on your blog".

To help the Lambi Fund rebuild what was destroyed, visit their on-line donation page. Keep in mind that they are second responders--their aim is not to provide for the immediate needs of food, water, and medicine, but to rebuild the Haitian infrastructure and economy.

Portlight.org, the remarkable disaster-relief charity that has sprung up from the hard work and dedication of many members of the wunderground.com community, has also mobilized to help out the victims of the Haitian earthquake. As Paul Timmons writes in the Portlight blog this morning,

Portlight's focus in this is going to be on people with disabilities in Haiti...providing medical equipment, shelter, and food for them...there is an article below about the treatment of this population in the best of times...and this ain't the best of times...

We have a "Go" container in Atlanta which will ship out in a few days...and an ongoing relationship with a community of Catholic sisters in Port au Prince who will be opening shelters...

Any funds we raise will be used to defray shipping costs of medical and clinical equipment...and for the purchase of food and other shelter supplies...Haiti is our neighbor...and Haitians are certainly forgotten people...people with disabilities in Haiti are frequently barely seen as human...

Anyone interested in going to Haiti to help staff one or more shelters for Haitians with disabilities please WU mail us...


So, please visit the Portlight.org blog to learn more and to donate. Portlight is acting as a first responder, to answer the immediate needs of the Haitian people for water, food, and medical equipment. Portlight is exploring ways they can work together with the Lambi Fund of Haiti to put the materials donated where they are most needed. If you're interested in sponsoring an Honor Walk to help raise funds for the Haitians, please contact Paul Timmons of Portlight, via the Portlight.org blog. Thank you.

There are two things Haiti does have going for it in the wake of this horrible tragedy. Firstly, it is not hurricane season, so the Haitians have six months to rebuild and shelter their homeless before the storms of summer arrive. There is a large mass of dry air over the Caribbean at present, so there will be dry weather for relief operations for at least the next few days. Secondly, former President Bill Clinton was appointed the UN Special Envoy to Haiti last year, and he brings an important visible face to the needs of Haiti's suffering people. A huge amount of aid will be needed for this tragedy.

My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and relatives of those affected by the earthquake.

I'll have a new post on Friday.

Jeff Masters

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Quoting PcolaDan:

I know a lot of people are hoping this can be a turning point for Haiti, but realistically, I believe the chances are pretty slim. In another couple of months the world will have forgotten about Haiti. It happens every time. How many people can actually say (without Googling) what the status of the countries in the 2004 tsunami are? I don't think they ever got all the money that was pledged to help them.
I hope I'm wrong. This being in the western hemisphere may be different.
BTW, this is from a glass half full person. I'm not usually this cynical.


They will be forgotten if forget them; we cannot let them be forgotten...
PCola,
This is coming on the heels of the Kyoto Conference.
I do believe that some of the funding for Haiti's reconstruction will have to come from the SuperFund created by the Kyoto Protocol.
And the UN had a presence in Haiti and shared in its substantial losses.

The UN is best equipped to coordinate the reconstruction of Haiti a no brainer imo.

Okay, I'm learning to wait for your second edits before responding Chicklit. LOL

I guess my skepticism is because these very things were said after the 2088 hurricanes. But I think you may be right about it this time. This is just ... different.
to quote Floodman "we cannot let them be forgotten..."

YOU CHEATED NO 3rd edits. :)

Well then I'm just going to continue taking here ;P
Hi PCola.
This comes from talking to oneself.
You can edit all you want!
It's after midnight again. Drats.
Goodnight...and f* that b* Pat Robertson.
What a s*!
Quoting Chicklit:
Hi PCola.
This comes from talking to oneself.
You can edit all you want, then!
It's after midnight again. Drats.
Goodnight...and f* that b* Pat Robertson.
What a s*!


Ditto (-1 hour) and double ditto

ha ha got you before any edit
It's 9"30 here - people wake up!!!
Hi Skye,
There's Patrap's GOM disturbance.
Unfortunately, when I work late, I play late.
It's double endemnity.
Quoting Chicklit:
Hi Skye,
There's Patrap's GOM disturbance.
Unfortunately, when I work late, I play late.


Its not Pats its MINE ALL MINE!!!! muahahahah
ElConado,
Can you convince Patrap to leave the Marine-stuff to the active Marines and make him stay in Louisiana? For cripes sakes.
I'm a worrier.
Quoting Chicklit:
ElConado,
Can you convince Patrap to leave the Marine-stuff to the active Marines and make him stay in Louisiana? For cripes sakes.
I'm a worrier.


most marines never stop being one till the day they die or the day they forget their marines and think that their Captain Kirk.
that is hysterical. (they're cpn. k. btw)
i believe you are the conan.
anyway, i really better go
the week is not yet over.
ok - someone has to get a photo of patrap and give him a captain kirk uniform.
Quoting melwerle:
It's 9"30 here - people wake up!!!


I'm up...still sort of ramped about the radio thing tonight
Wow look at all that rain in the gulf.
Quoting melwerle:
ok - someone has to get a photo of patrap and give him a captain kirk uniform.

he already has one mel.
Quoting jaxairportman:
Wow look at all that rain in the gulf.


Yeah man...Pat's about to get wet...LOL


wowie zowie babyDopplerRadarNational
Quoting Chicklit:


wowie zowie baby


We're on the northern edge of that mess here in Fort Worth...it's ever so gently raining
Looks focused east of Corpus Christi in the GOM.

Link
Hey all,

Could someone give an update on the upcoming Western storm situation. How strong, how long will storms be aimed at California region?

Keep up the great work Wunder crew with Haiti. Very inspiring!!!

Thanks
Patrick
Quoting Trouper415:
Hey all,

Could someone give an update on the upcoming Western storm situation. How strong, how long will storms be aimed at California region?


Does this help?
Link
1024. flsky
Quoting Bordonaro:


All humans at one time or another have paid too much attention to the "wrong thing".

God is love, the disaster happened, because of the fault line rupturing, releasing almost 140 yrs of tension in about 30 seconds. God will make a way to comfort the afflicted.

People at the time of Christ ran to hear the words spoken, today, then run the opposite direction. Hmmmm?


There will always be good people who do good things and bad people who do bad things. The problem with religion is that under its influence, good people do bad things.
Rec'd from my brother a resident of the Dominican Republic
January 13, 2010

Dear All:

First off Estela and I are fine. We all had a Dale moment and Haiti had a disaster of the ultimate proportions. If there are any people in the world that could and can weather a storm of this magnitude it is the Haitian people. They are survivors of the most great oppression mankind has to offer in yet they get up to struggle thru another day.

What they need right now is of course drinkable water, food, sanitation (latrines and shower facilities) and some kind of shelter from the oppressive sun during the middle of the day. Medical help next, then, all the kind nations that can, bring in the infra structure, roads, lights, and running water to each area. Wouldn’t it be neat if each nation adopted a Provence and made sure that happened as they made a Haitian national roads system etc.? It could happen and this is the time, if the countries here in the Western Hemisphere all cooperated. This is certainly a God sent opportunity to show the world how it could and should be done.

Thanks to everyone who asked if we made it thru the earthquake OK. Estela and I live about 6 miles from the Haitian boarder in the Provence of Elias Pina.

Love to all, Dale and Estela
Quoting Chicklit:
Yeah, PColaDan. This is why, as difficult as it is to imagine at this moment, this is a turning point for Haiti which has world attention. Please note China is first on the ground with the heavy equipment and seismic recovery specialists.

IMHO The UN needs to step in and make Haiti a Case Study for Kyoto and whatever comes after.
Put your money where your mouth is world nations. Put the protocol into place.
Reforest, build renewable energy sources.

This is the opportunity to test the model of what needs to be done in this century. The island is small enough to be manageable.
Perfect opportunity, imo.

My vote is UN Control.
How's that for nation building?!
And then transition over to a representative government.
Literacy for more than 20% must be part of the program.


i second this, and belive this is the only future they might have. And they need to learn again to build architecture which is optimized for earthquakes.
Learn again? They have never built for earthquake in Haiti...not even the natives, wiped out by the Spanish, consciously built for earthquakes...what are you talking about?
How do you plant a tree where there is no dirt?
Quoting Floodman:
Learn again? They have never built for earthquake in Haiti...not even the natives, wiped out by the Spanish, consciously built for earthquakes...what are you talking about?
Google Translation
Link
Click the first images and proceed than to image 16, starting there you find construction models.
good morning 57 for a low so far the blog is upside down daytrippers are turning into nightowls
1031. IKE
Buoy 207 NM east of Brownsville,TX....

5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 23.3 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 31.1 kts

5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 12.1 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 8 sec
5-day plot - Average Period Average Period (APD): 6.5 sec
5-day plot - Mean Wave Direction Mean Wave Direction (MWD): SE ( 127 deg true )
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.81 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.04 in ( Falling )

5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 68.7 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 77.7 °F
5-day plot - Wind Speed, Wind Gust and Atmospheric Pressure Combined plot of Wind Speed, Gust, and Air Pressure
1032. IKE
Tallahassee,FL. short-term....

SHORT TERM...(TODAY THROUGH SUNDAY)...AFTER THE "COOL" START TO THE
MORNING TODAY...WE SHOULD FINALLY EXPERIENCE A DAY WITH MOSTLY SUNNY
AND ABOVE NORMAL HIGH TEMPERATURES WITH ANY LOWER 60S LIMITED TO THE
EXTREME NW PORTIONS OF THE CWA...WITH LOWER EVEN 70S POSSIBLE ACROSS
THE SE FL BIG BEND. UNFORTUNATELY...THIS FAIR AND WARM WX WILL BE
FAIRLY SHORT LIVED...AS A NEW AND POTENTIALLY POTENT LOW PRESSURE
SYSTEM IS ALREADY TAKING SHAPE ACROSS THE MEXICAN PLATEAU WITH ITS
INFLUENCE SPREADING THUNDERSTORMS INTO EASTERN TX AND THE WESTERN
GULF COAST AS OF 3 AM EST. ALTHOUGH THERE IS STILL SOME DISAGREEMENT
IN THE MODEL SOLUTIONS...DECIDED TO STICK CLOSEST TO THE ECMWF WHICH
HAS BEEN THE MOST CONSISTENT FROM RUN TO RUN THROUGH THE PAST
SEVERAL DAYS. THIS SOLUTION...WHICH IS NOW NOT TOO FAR REMOVED FROM
THE OTHER MODELS WILL EJECT THE UPPER LOW TO THE NE AND HELP
REDEVELOP A FAIRLY POTENT SFC LOW JUST TO THE NE OF THE NEW ORLEANS
AREA BY LATE ON SATURDAY. THIS WILL CLEARLY PUT MUCH OF THE CWA IN
THE WARM SECTOR...WITH LOCALLY HEAVY RAINS AND GUSTY WINDS EXPECTED.
ALTHOUGH THE BULK SHEAR VALUES FROM 0-3 AND 0-6 KM ARE EXPECTED TO
BE QUITE EXTREME AS WILL BE THE 850 MB JET...THE SHORT DURATION OF
RETURN FLOW OF THE HEAVILY MODIFIED GULF OF MEXICO AIR (FROM THE
ARCTIC OUTBREAK) MAY LIMIT SFC INSTABILITY. THEREFORE...AFTER
COORDINATION WITH SPC (THANKS SPC FOR TAKING TIME OUT OF YOUR BUSY
SCHEDULE TO COORDINATE AT 04 UTC FOR THE DAY 2!)...THEY RECOMMENDED
A "SEE TEXT" WITH 5 PERCENT PROBABILITIES FOR SVR WX WHICH WE FULLY
AGREED. IF THESE PROBABILITIES INCREASE...A SLIGHT RISK MAY STILL BE
ISSUED WITH THE MAIN THREAT BEING THE POTENTIAL FOR STRONG STRAIGHT
LINE WINDS. THE GFS IS STILL FURTHER EAST WITH THIS SYSTEM...BUT NOW
DOES BRING THE SFC LOW INLAND NEAR PANAMA CITY...AND THE HEIGHTENED
CONCERN WITH ALL OF THE MODELS AND NUMERICAL GUIDANCE IS THE
POTENTIAL FOR SFC DEWPOINTS TO REACH AT LEAST THE LOWER 60S IN SOME
AREAS WHICH JUST MIGHT BE HIGH ENOUGH TO ALLOW FOR SEVERE WEATHER.
ALL INTERESTS SHOULD KEEP ABREAST OF THE LATEST SITUATION WITH THIS
POTENTIAL EVENT...WHICH MAY PRODUCE 2-3 INCH RAINFALL TOTALS WHETHER
ANY SEVERE WX MATERIALIZES OR NOT.


1033. IKE
Quoting IKE:
Buoy 207 NM east of Brownsville,TX....

5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 23.3 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 31.1 kts

5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 12.1 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 8 sec
5-day plot - Average Period Average Period (APD): 6.5 sec
5-day plot - Mean Wave Direction Mean Wave Direction (MWD): SE ( 127 deg true )
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.81 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.04 in ( Falling )

5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 68.7 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 77.7 °F
5-day plot - Wind Speed, Wind Gust and Atmospheric Pressure Combined plot of Wind Speed, Gust, and Air Pressure


.....now look....

Wind Speed (WSPD): 33.0 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 38.9 kts

5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 14.1 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 8 sec
5-day plot - Average Period Average Period (APD): 7.0 sec
5-day plot - Mean Wave Direction Mean Wave Direction (MWD): SE ( 136 deg true )
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.76 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.05 in ( Falling )

5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 68.9 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 78.4 °F
1034. unf97
Good morning everyone.

Partly cloudy conditions, light fog and a current temperature of 38.7 degrees. This is the first morning of above freezing minimum temps here at my NE FL location since January 2.

Looks like the GOM Low is organizing nicely this morning and that a significant rain maker is in store for the Gulf Coast and SE US this weekend. In many ways this rain will be very good to mosition the soil and brush following such a prolonged period of cold and dry conditions these past two weeks.

I will be watching for the potentail for strong/severe thunderstorms should they materialize.

Have a blessed and wonderful day everyone. I am so heavy hearted with the castastrophe in Haiti. My continual thoughts and prayers for the people of Haiti, and may God bless those assisting in the rescue efforts.
HAVE A GREAT DAY, PATRAP!!
1036. Patrap
TYVM AIM,.."bahhhhh"

Pink sky morning here Ike..
Gusty too.

1037. IKE
nifty 50....WOOHOO!
1039. IKE
Quoting Patrap:
TYVM AIM,.."bahhhhh"

Pink sky morning here Ike..
Gusty too.



That low is firing up.
1040. Patrap
Howd ya Know?..

LOL

Seem's itsa gonna be a Blustery Day here..
1041. unf97
Happy Birthday Patrap!

And a happy belated birthday to SaintSimons IslandGa Guy.
1042. Patrap
Thanx unf97,..

Looks to be a good day.

Anyday one wakes up and has friends like this,for sure its gonna be a swell one.
1043. IKE
Quoting IKE:


.....now look....

Wind Speed (WSPD): 33.0 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 38.9 kts

5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 14.1 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 8 sec
5-day plot - Average Period Average Period (APD): 7.0 sec
5-day plot - Mean Wave Direction Mean Wave Direction (MWD): SE ( 136 deg true )
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.76 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.05 in ( Falling )

5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 68.9 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 78.4 °F


Latest Observation...buoy 207 NM east of Brownsville,TX....pressure up slightly...but winds to 45+ mph.

Wind Speed (WSPD): 33.0 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 40.8 kts

5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 13.1 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 8 sec
5-day plot - Average Period Average Period (APD): 6.7 sec
5-day plot - Mean Wave Direction Mean Wave Direction (MWD): SE ( 137 deg true )
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.77 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.04 in ( Falling )
5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 68.5 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 78.3 °F
1044. IKE
Happy Bday...off to Crestview,FL....L8R......
1045. P451
Quoting Chicklit:


wowie zowie babyDopplerRadarNational


It is interesting that about 10 days ago this system was tabbed as being a monster and heading right up the east coast as a massive blizzard.

By day 7 out they dropped it to an insignificant system that was going to drift out to sea off of the Pressolinas.

Now, it seems to be growing as originally thought and the models have swung it more up the east coast - but - not as a big storm once it gets there.

Maybe they had it right the first time. We'll see.

1046. P451
Vison is 30 miles from Haiti. Already launching helicopters to support the effort.

Now you'll start to see things organize.

Honore had it right. Get the military in there first, let them assess the situation, they have aid teams that could have worked right away as well, they would set up security, communications, ATC, and started clearing the way.

Then you bring in all these various aid groups who could have then operated without difficulty from the start.

But, well, it is an epic disaster, so it was known the aid effort would be one big clusterf- as well.

But, now you'll see things really start to move today.

The sad thing is, how many died in the initial EQ, you can double that in terms of those survivors who are dying by the minute.

Not to mention the many more who simply won't make it due to malnourishment.

I think what might be forgotten is they aren't healthy people to begin with - and every single structure is flattened or inhabital. There are no stores to go to. There are no homes to sleep in. There is no power or water to restore by fixing a break here or there.

That's going to put the death toll much higher than it would have been in any developed country.

Sad situation but help has finally begun. Too late for many. Too late for those who still won't be reached for the next 2-3 days as this nightmare unfolds.

It's been over 3 days. That feel good helpful attitude is going to turn to desperation and anger. Going to be some unrest that will also claim lives.

What a disaster....
Live Conditions 8:00 AM
Montgomery Blair HSChange Tracking Station
Temp
36.1°F
Switch to Celsius
6
mph
So Far Today
* Lo: 35°F
* Rain: 0.00"
* Hi: 39°F
* Gust: W 11
Hi: 53°
Partly sunny. Highs in the lower 50s. West winds 5 to 10 mph.
Lo: 30°
Mostly cloudy in the evening...then becoming partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 20s. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph.

Downright balmy...finally, a break! And a little more good news, for a little break in all the sad news:

Maryland tops states on education report card
By Valerie Strauss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 14, 2010; 12:15 AM

Maryland scored a B plus and was followed by Massachusetts and New York, which both earned a B. Most states got grades of C or lower.

TAKE THAT, VIRGINIA!!
(Just a little around the Beltway/across the Potomac River razzing, folks!)



This is important:
We are now accepting donations of medical equipment and clinical supplies...

Please forward this info as far and wide as you can. Any groups collecting or with access to this kind of stuff can ship it to our Atlanta warehouse:

Portlight S trategies, Inc.
4900 Lewis Road
Stone Mountain GA 30083

We have good contacts on Hispanola who are able to get this stuff where it's needed.

We are also still in need of funds: PayPal button @
www.portlight.org

Thanks!!
1049. P451
12 Hours of cyclogenesis

The images coming out of Haiti get more disturbing to me as time passes. They were showing them loading bodies into a bulldozer and then being dumped into a truck. They aren't even going to identify the bodies. I wonder how loved ones will know?
As I stated 10 days ago we will have a nasty squall line coming out of the GOM toward Florida on Saturday. Most of the severe weather will occur over the Florida penisula mainly C and S FL because temps are much warmer and Dew points could push near 70 here. Also another round of severe weather with what could be a moderate to high risk from C FL to Southern Georgia on Thursday. Temp is 56 here in Orlando right now.
Happy Birthday Patrap!! I hope you have a wonderful day today :)

Looks like we are going to have a bumpy one. I saw that pink sky this morning :)

Concession, Belle Chasse, Louisiana (PWS)
Updated: 1 sec ago
Overcast
47.2 F
Overcast
Windchill: 43 F
Humidity: 92%
Dew Point: 45 F
Wind: 8.0 mph from the NNE
Wind Gust: 13.0 mph
Pressure: 30.09 in (Rising)
If thunderstorms form out ahead of this squall line as it comes across C FL then we will have a chance of tornadoes as there will turning of winds from low levels to high levels. The main threat with the line itself will be high winds and hail.
1054. Patrap
TYVM,..nishinigami

Cyclogenesis on my B-Day.
Imagine dat.

1055. Patrap
ESL IR Loop


1056. Nimitz
Quoting Patrap:
Thanx unf97,..

Looks to be a good day.

Anyday one wakes up and has friends like this,for sure its gonna be a swell one.


Laissez les bon temps roulez, mon ami!

Happy Half a one, Pat!
Happy 50th Birthday Pat!!!!!!!!! Gallon of Geritol is on the way...
Quoting Jeff9641:
If thunderstorms form out ahead of this squall line as it comes across C FL then we will have a chance of tornadoes as there will turning of winds from low levels to high levels. The main threat with the line itself will be high winds and hail.


I just checked the NWS site for Tampa, and it makes no mention of thunderstorms or severe weather.
That squall line is move fast to the ENE. Faster than the models are saying. Tremendous amount of lightning in the Gulf right now feeding off all this energy moving in from Mexico.
The folks in California need to take a look at the next two weeks of heavy rain, the GFS models are consistent and a line of storms will be impacting California, starting Monday January 18,2010. These storms will last into February,
California's drought will be gone and the lakes streams will be overflowing, and flooding will occur. Mudslides will also be a concern.
Haiti will take a back seat to these fierce storms in California, the upper elevations will get the much needed snow.

So we will see if the models hold up with their predictions.
If I lived in the hills of California, I would be going over my prepardness plan, now!
1062. Patrap
Gallon o what,speak up?

Gallo Wine?

Okay..

Quoting CaneWarning:


I just checked the NWS site for Tampa, and it makes no mention of thunderstorms or severe weather.


Well it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that there is some weather moving in. Tampa mets. are not the best so I would take there forecast with a grain of salt. Very heavy thunderstorms will plow into Tampa bay late tomorrow with possible strong wind gust if these thunderstorms start bowing out which already appears to be happening in the Western Gulf.
1064. Patrap


Aid workers struggle to get food, water to Haitians
By The Associated Press
January 15, 2010, 7:05AM



Aid workers hoping to distribute food, water and other supplies to a shattered Port-au-Prince are warning their efforts may need more security Friday as Haitians grow increasingly desperate and impatient for help.

United Nations peacekeepers patrolling the capital said people's anger is rising that aid hasn't been distributed quickly, and the Brazilian military warned aid convoys to add security to guard against looting.

"Unfortunately, they're slowly getting more angry and impatient," said David Wimhurst, spokesman for the Brazilian-commanded U.N. peacekeeping mission. "I fear, we're all aware that the situation is getting more tense as the poorest people who need so much are waiting for deliveries. I think tempers might be frayed."

The U.N. World Food Program reported Friday that its warehouses in the Haitian capital had been looted since Tuesday's cataclysmic earthquake. It didn't know how much of its pre-quake stockpile of 15,000 tons of food aid remained, but said some supplies were stored elsewhere in Haiti.

A spokeswoman for the Rome-based agency, Emilia Casella, noted that regular food stores in Port-au-Prince also had been emptied by looters.

Casella said the WFP was preparing shipments of enough ready-to-eat meals to feed 2 million Haitians for a month.

The international Red Cross estimated 45,000 to 50,000 people were killed in the quake Tuesday, based on information from the Haitian Red Cross and government officials. U.N. officials estimated Friday that 10 percent of the homes in Port-au-Prince had been destroyed, leaving some 300,000 people without shelter.

Hundreds of bodies were stacked outside the city morgue, and limbs of the dead protruded from the rubble of crushed schools and homes. A few workers were able to free people who had been trapped under the rubble for days, but others attended to the grim task of using bulldozers to transport loads of bodies.

For the long-suffering people of Haiti, the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation, shock was giving way to despair.

"We need food. The people are suffering. My neighbors and friends are suffering," said Sylvain Angerlotte, 22. "We don't have money. We don't have nothing to eat. We need pure water."

From Europe, Asia and the Americas, more than 20 governments, the U.N. and private aid groups were sending planeloads of high-energy biscuits and other food, tons of water, tents, blankets, water-purification gear, heavy equipment for removing debris, helicopters and other transport. Hundreds of search-and-rescue, medical and other specialists also headed to Haiti.

The WFP began organizing distribution centers for food and water Thursday, said Kim Bolduc, acting chief of the large U.N. mission in this desperately poor country. She said that "the risk of having social unrest very soon" made it important to move quickly.

Governments and government agencies have pledged about $400 million worth of aid, including $100 million from the United States.

But into the third day following the 7.0-magnitude quake, the global helping hand was slowed by a damaged seaport and an airport that turned away civilian aid planes for eight hours Thursday because of a lack of space and fuel.

Aid workers have been blocked by debris on inadequate roads and by survivors gathered in the open out of fear of aftershocks and re-entering unstable buildings.

"The physical destruction is so great that physically getting from point A to B with the supplies is not an easy task," Casella, the WFP spokeswoman, said at a news conference in Geneva.

Across the sprawling, hilly city, people milled about in open areas, hopeful for help, sometimes setting up camps amid piles of salvaged goods, including food scavenged from the rubble.

Small groups could be seen burying dead by roadsides. Other dust-covered bodies were being dragged down streets, toward hospitals where relatives hoped to leave them. Countless dead remained unburied, some in piles. Outside one pharmacy, the body of a woman was covered by a sheet, a small bundle atop her, a tiny foot poking from its covering.

Aid worker Fevil Dubien said some people were almost fighting over the water he distributed from a truck in a northern Port-au-Prince neighborhood.

Elsewhere, about 50 Haitians yearning for food and water rushed toward two employees wearing "Food For The Poor" T-shirts as they entered the international agency's damaged building.

"We heard a commotion at the door, knocking at it, trying to get in," said project manager Liony Batista. "'What's going on? Are you giving us some food?' We said, 'Uh-oh.' You never know when people are going over the edge."

Batista said he and others tried to calm the crowd, which eventually dispersed after being told food hadn't yet arrived.

"We're not trying to run away from what we do," Batista said, adding that coordinating aid has been a challenge. "People looked desperate, people looked hungry, people looked lost."

Engineers from the U.N. mission have begun clearing some main roads, and law-and-order duties have fallen completely to the mission's 3,000 international troops and police. About 5,500 U.S. soldiers and Marines were expected to be in Haiti by Monday. Their efforts will include providing security, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

Wimhurst, the mission spokesman, said Haitian police "are not visible at all," no doubt because many had to deal with lost homes and family members. The first U.S. military units to arrive took on a coordinating role at the airport.

In Geneva, U.N. humanitarian spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said peacekeepers were maintaining security in Haiti despite the challenges.

"It's tense but they can cope," Byrs said. "Imagine those people who have not been eating or drinking for almost 50 hours and are already in a very poor situation, if they see a truck with something ... or if they see a supermarket which has collapsed, they just rush to get something to eat."

Batista, the Food For The Poor project manager, went back to the Dominican Republic late Thursday and awaited the arrival of 100 shipping containers loaded with rice, canned goods and building supplies.

"I don't think that a word has been invented for what is happening in Haiti," he said. "It is total disaster."
These are my comments on Dr. Masters poll,
I'm the guy who does the rescues of the dumbbunnies who fail to heed warnings.
We risk our lives for these people, and sometimes we pay the price.
So should the poll say, sign a wavier stating if needed rescued I take full responsibility of my actions and I won't hold the rescuers responsible for any actions.

I have rescued people from floods two or three times in the same flood, from their homes,
Yep, I wonder how they get back, so now, we just turn off the utilities, and they say its their right to be rescued, I say NO
Here ya go Canewarning.
DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...SATURDAY THROUGH THURSDAY.
THUNDERSTORM CHANCES WILL INCREASE SATURDAY AND CONTINUE INTO
SATURDAY NIGHT AS A STORM SYSTEM DEVELOPS OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO
AND PULLS A COLD FRONT INTO THE STATE. SOME STORMS COULD PRODUCE
STRONG GUSTY WINDS AS THEY PUSH THROUGH THE CENTRAL PENINSULA.
MARINE CONDITIONS WILL DETERIORATE AHEAD OF THIS SYSTEM AS WELL
BEGINNING LATE FRIDAY NIGHT INTO SATURDAY.
Quoting Jeff9641:
Here ya go Canewarning.
DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...SATURDAY THROUGH THURSDAY.
THUNDERSTORM CHANCES WILL INCREASE SATURDAY AND CONTINUE INTO
SATURDAY NIGHT AS A STORM SYSTEM DEVELOPS OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO
AND PULLS A COLD FRONT INTO THE STATE. SOME STORMS COULD PRODUCE
STRONG GUSTY WINDS AS THEY PUSH THROUGH THE CENTRAL PENINSULA.
MARINE CONDITIONS WILL DETERIORATE AHEAD OF THIS SYSTEM AS WELL
BEGINNING LATE FRIDAY NIGHT INTO SATURDAY.


It seems like they'd add that into the official forecast. Maybe they'll update later today.
PRE-FRONTAL ZONE OF STORMS SHOULD BE ONGOING ALONG THE WARM CONVEYOR
BELT OVER THE CNTRL GULF EARLY SATURDAY. THIS ACTIVITY WILL SHIFT
ENEWD DURING THE DAY REACHING THE FL PANHANDLE DURING THE AFTERNOON
AND SRN GA AND THE FL PENINSULA OVERNIGHT. DEEP VERTICAL WIND SHEAR
WILL STRENGTHEN TO 50 KT...FAVORABLE FOR ORGANIZED STORMS INCLUDING
SUPERCELLS AND BOW ECHOES. GIVEN EXPECTED 60 KT LOW LEVEL
JET...SOME POTENTIAL WILL EXIST FOR ISOLATED DAMAGING WIND AS STORMS
PROGRESS EWD THROUGH FL AND SRN GA OVERNIGHT. LARGE HODOGRAPHS WILL
ALSO SUPPORT A CONDITIONAL THREAT FOR AN ISOLATED TORNADO OR TWO.
PRESENT CONCERN IS THAT INSTABILITY MAY BE SOMEWHAT LIMITED FOR A
MORE SUBSTANTIAL SEVERE THREAT. AREA WILL CONTINUE TO BE
MONITORED...AND IF IT BEGINS TO APPEAR MORE INSTABILITY WILL DEVELOP
THAN CURRENTLY ANTICIPATED THEN AN UPGRADE TO SLIGHT RISK MAY BE
NEEDED IN LATER OUTLOOKS.
I just made a $50 contribution to Portlight in honor of Pats' 50th birthday....please consider doing the same...

www.portlight.org
Local news station just said the Haiti quake registered in Virgina. Seismology charts show a sharp spike in water levels.
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
Local news station just said the Haiti quake registered in Virgina. Seismology charts show a sharp spike in water levels.


They said it could be felt in Tampa, but I didn't feel a thing.
1073. P451
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
Local news station just said the Haiti quake registered in Virgina. Seismology charts show a sharp spike in water levels.


Big quakes frequently register worldwide. The Sumatra quake did and not only the earth "rang" like a bell for about 24 hours with worldwide seismic stations able to continuously detect tremors in the earth.

Meanwhile, GOOGLE has posted a Haiti Relief Page and at the bottom of the page is an embedded and updated google earth of the EQ region.
Mission Details (Jan. 15):


Current U.S. military efforts are focused on working with MUNUSTAH and local responders to provide search and rescue, disaster relief and ensure security of both people and supplies.

The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson arrived off the coast of Haiti Friday. The ship's 19 helicopters will fly airflift missions in support of aid efforts. The ship is also delivering more than 30 pallets of relief supplies.

A U.S. Southern Command assessment team and command and control team continue working with U.S. embassy personnel as well as Haitian, United Nations and international officials to assess the situation and coordinateU.S. military support.

Elements of the U.S. Air Force 1st Special Operations Wing have departed the international airport at Port au Prince, Haiti, after providing initial air traffic control capability and re-establishing airfield operations. The team remains for additional taskings.

Coast Guard cutters and aircraft continue to support current search and rescue operations and provide security for the area.

An initial company from the 82nd Airborne Division arrived Thursday and are gearing up to help, including providing increased command & control. The bulk of the 82nd Soldiers (about 700) are expected to arrive in the next few days.

USS Higgins is also now in Haiti and will support relief operations.

On the Way:

The USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group is set to deploy to Haiti. The group includes USS Bataan, USS Fort McHenry, USS Carter Hall and the 2,200-person 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit. The ships will also include an assortment of helicopters (#’s not finalized)

Two additional ships, USS Underwood and USS Normandy are also headed to help.

The hospital ship USNS Comfort is also preparing to deploy. It's expected to be on station near Haiti on Jan. 22.

SOUTHCOM is closely monitoring the situation and is working with the U.S. State Department, United States Agency for International Development and the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and other national and international agencies to determine how to best respond to this crisis.

Link
Press, thank you for the post about Porlight now accepting medical equipment and supplies in GA.
Yesterday Patrap mentioned something about there's a need for boots and gloves...is Portlight accepting those items? And does that mean work boots and gloves, or anything close?
(Let me know if I should move to Portlight blog for this...I'm still catching up and reading morning news.) Thanks.
Quoting trunkmonkey:
These are my comments on Dr. Masters poll,
I'm the guy who does the rescues of the dumbbunnies who fail to heed warnings.
We risk our lives for these people, and sometimes we pay the price.
So should the poll say, sign a wavier stating if needed rescued I take full responsibility of my actions and I won't hold the rescuers responsible for any actions.

I have rescued people from floods two or three times in the same flood, from their homes,
Yep, I wonder how they get back, so now, we just turn off the utilities, and they say its their right to be rescued, I say NO


FIRST RULE OF PEOPLE IN RECOVERY -- STAY THE H*LL OUT OF THE WAY OF THE FIRST RESPONDERS! DO NOT BECOME PART OF THE PROBLEM!! (Shouting on purpose...seen too many idiots...and in Ike "they" sent us out in tail of hurricane...friends were hurt in car accident, one permanently...Note: not the present Administration...hoping beyond hope the new guys aren't the same as the old guys.)
Awake...right now we are focusing just on medical and clinical supplies...as well as the water filtration systems...though the need for those items is certainly clear, for the next few days at least we're gonna focus..
Quoting presslord:
Awake...right now we are focusing just on medical and clinical supplies...as well as the water filtration systems...though the need for those items is certainly clear, for the next few days at least we're gonna focus..

Je comprende.
1079. P451
Quoting presslord:
Awake...right now we are focusing just on medical and clinical supplies...as well as the water filtration systems...though the need for those items is certainly clear, for the next few days at least we're gonna focus..


Comment about water filtration. Their infrastructure is shattered and many places didn't even have running water prior to the quake.

They've showed the odd hotel or building with water and those places have made it available to people as best they can.

There doesn't appear to be any lakes or streams/rivers nearby.

Does anyone know if you'll even have a water source to filter for them?

In today's NY Times, David Brooks' column addresses some of the concerns mentioned in this blog about long-term effectiveness of well-intentioned aid efforts and suggests possible approach.

Sorry - I missed including the link for the David Brooks' NY Times column about aid for Haiti

Link
Quoting Floodman:
Learn again? They have never built for earthquake in Haiti...not even the natives, wiped out by the Spanish, consciously built for earthquakes...what are you talking about?

Boy did they get stars in their eyes about how to tell Haiti to rebuild while lives are still trapped in rubble. Everyone is capable of this, but it is a special breed that thinks for a moment that Haiti is going to be some icon for renewable energy when they don't have any Whole Foods stores. Really, though, in a place that literally cannot adequately feed itself and has a known recurrence of earthquakes of 140 years and a known recurrence of hurricanes, what?, every 3rd year? hows about we just hope for building codes on the level of Florida. Given that they simply cannot afford any extra cost, even that might just be a pipe dream.
Quoting Patrap:
ESL IR Loop




hmmmm
Quoting atmoaggie:

Boy did they get stars in their eyes about how to tell Haiti to rebuild while lives are still trapped in rubble. Everyone is capable of this, but it is a special breed that thinks for a moment that Haiti is going to be some icon for renewable energy when they don't have any Whole Foods stores. Really, though, in a place that literally cannot adequately feed itself and has a known recurrence of earthquakes of 140 years and a known recurrence of hurricanes, what?, every 3rd year? hows about we just hope for building codes on the level of Florida. Given that they simply cannot afford any extra cost, even that might just be a pipe dream.


Unless other countries (or maybe the UN) rebuild Haiti, not much will change. They are a poor nation and building to Florida standards certainly isn't cheap.
Aggie building codes in Florida are quite strict btw.
Well it happened the record for consecutive days with subfreezing low temps has been broken in Tallahassee. 14 Straight days of it, and hopefully this morning was the last day..
OH! and my Manners! happy birthday to the one, the only, the great the masterful, Patrap!!!
Jeff

At worst the Weather Service is looking at a "slight risk" of gusty winds tomorrow. I do not see the "nasty squall line" happening that you are talking about. Water temps are extreemely cold in the GOM and the main energy is going to lift north at the system approaches FL.
1090. NEwxguy
Happy Birthday,Pat,looking at the Gulf,should be an interesting birthday as the day goes on.
Happy b-day Pat and Drew Brees (and son)
Quoting StormW:
Good morning!

Happy Birthday Pat!

Good morning StormW
Quoting ElConando:
Aggie building codes in Florida are quite strict btw.

I know, like I said, "pipe dream". Though that would put them in a much better position for the next hurricane and even somewhat better for the next quake...at least in survivability.
Quoting atmoaggie:

Boy did they get stars in their eyes about how to tell Haiti to rebuild while lives are still trapped in rubble. Everyone is capable of this, but it is a special breed that thinks for a moment that Haiti is going to be some icon for renewable energy when they don't have any Whole Foods stores. Really, though, in a place that literally cannot adequately feed itself and has a known recurrence of earthquakes of 140 years and a known recurrence of hurricanes, what?, every 3rd year? hows about we just hope for building codes on the level of Florida. Given that they simply cannot afford any extra cost, even that might just be a pipe dream.
yesterday dosen't matter tomorrow is yet to come today is where we get the most done
1096. tkeith
Quoting presslord:
I just made a $50 contribution to Portlight in honor of Pats' 50th birthday....please consider doing the same...

www.portlight.org
I just doubled your contribution for Pat's 50th Press...anyone care to triple it?
Radar looks like a tropical storm coming ashore on the TX coast.
Moving out of the problem and into one possible solution -- realistic, cost-effective, and so darn cute:



Mississippi Cottage Program (cottages also known as "Katrina" cottages)
The Mississippi Alternative Housing Program is intended to demonstrate that improved housing solutions for disaster victims can be developed, tested, and used effectively following major disasters. The program will demonstrate that we can design, construct, and deliver a safer, more livable emergency housing unit that may serve as affordable housing for long-term recovery.

The Mississippi Alternative Housing Program a pilot project to explore, implement, and evaluate innovative approaches to both short and intermediate-term emergency housing solutions. The alternative housing units will be safer, more livable and environmentally friendly.
New Blog
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
Moving out of the problem and into one possible solution -- realistic, cost-effective, and so darn cute:



Mississippi Cottage Program (cottages also known as "Katrina" cottages)
The Mississippi Alternative Housing Program is intended to demonstrate that improved housing solutions for disaster victims can be developed, tested, and used effectively following major disasters. The program will demonstrate that we can design, construct, and deliver a safer, more livable emergency housing unit that may serve as affordable housing for long-term recovery.

The Mississippi Alternative Housing Program a pilot project to explore, implement, and evaluate innovative approaches to both short and intermediate-term emergency housing solutions. The alternative housing units will be safer, more livable and environmentally friendly.
just check the site had a look at park model inside view yes this is the future of temp afterstorm housing very nice
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
just check the site had a look at park model inside view yes this is the future of temp afterstorm housing very nice

Thanks, Keeper! You've given me courage to re-post on next blog...takes me forever!

OH, re-peat...NEW BLOG!
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
Moving out of the problem and into one possible solution -- realistic, cost-effective, and so darn cute:



Mississippi Cottage Program (cottages also known as "Katrina" cottages)
The Mississippi Alternative Housing Program is intended to demonstrate that improved housing solutions for disaster victims can be developed, tested, and used effectively following major disasters. The program will demonstrate that we can design, construct, and deliver a safer, more livable emergency housing unit that may serve as affordable housing for long-term recovery.

The Mississippi Alternative Housing Program a pilot project to explore, implement, and evaluate innovative approaches to both short and intermediate-term emergency housing solutions. The alternative housing units will be safer, more livable and environmentally friendly.


Definitely a better idea than just haphazardly throwing up tin shacks...
Quoting atmoaggie:

I know, like I said, "pipe dream". Though that would put them in a much better position for the next hurricane and even somewhat better for the next quake...at least in survivability.


Haiti's biggest issue with hurricanes isn't the building codes, per se, it is the rampant deforestation. If they can get enough of an economy under them, they can get some ground cover and forests back, which will help a lot of their hurricane issues. If you look at what happened to them in 2008, most of the deaths were not because of wind or surge damage, but rather flooding and mudslides.

If you can get the Haitians to stop cutting everything that is closely related to wood down, nature can grow back a bit, and help them out.
It's funny that the low in Texas looks about as tropical as some of our "tropical" and "subtropical" storms we've had.