A cholera outbreak is worsening in Haiti just as an approaching storm threatens to displace hundreds of thousands of earthquake survivors. New figures show that 105 people have died from cholera since Saturday, bringing the death toll so far to 442. The United Nations is warning the outbreak could spread drastically when Tropical Storm Tomas makes landfall on Friday. The United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Haiti, Nigel Fisher, said aid agencies are overstretched.
Nigel Fisher: “I think that the hurricane is so huge that all of the country is hit severely. I think if two, three, four, five departments are hit, we’ll be able to cope to some extent. More than that, we will really be stretched, and we’re going to have to make difficult choices about where to put scarce assets.”
Some 1.5 million people are said to be at risk if rainfall from the storm causes massive flooding. The Haitian government has ordered the voluntary evacuation of camps for earthquake survivors in low-lying areas, but many have nowhere to go. A resident of a camp in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince said aid groups have offered little help.
Carlo D’Charles: “The organizations we have in this country, they don’t come here to help us, you know? They once helped us, you know, two months after the earthquake. But after that, you know, you can’t talk to anybody you want to, any park, you know? We never receive help after two months after the earthquake, you know? That’s really bad. We’re living in bad condition, you know? That’s what I know. And last time we had a big storm pass, you know, many people just died. In this park, we have two people die, you know? Why, now we hear about this storm will come, we not prepare ahead? ”