www.msnbc.com 5th November 2010
Even as the first tendrils of Tropical Storm Thomas touch the shores of Haiti, the local population have defied evacuation orders to stay in their homes. Many of them are still living out of shelters constructed after a devastating earthquake hit the island in January this year. The civil protection department of Haiti issued the evacuation of the 1.3 million residents in the path of the storm and even provided buses to transport people to friends and family further away. However, 4 buses at one camp called Canape-Vert only managed to carry away 5 people. On Thursday Thomas had amassed winds of 65mph (or 100kph) and the US National Hurricane Centre in Miami has warned that it could gain hurricane strength by the time it fully hits Haiti. If this is the case then it is unlikely that the cheap tarpaulin shelters used by many in the post-quake camps will survive. So far the government has declined to make a list of suitable sturdier shelters, such as schools and hospitals, public as it fears that these places will be ‘invaded’. Slightly further away, the US Navy base at Guantanamo Bay in southeastern Cuba were also bracing themselves for the storm by ensuring the camp had enough supplies in case of disrupted communications and transport capabilities.