Fear as Haitians Brace for Tropical Storm Tomas

Haitians prepare for Hurricane Tomas.
Haitians prepare for Hurricane Tomas.

For nearly 10 months, more than 1 million people have been living in Haiti's earthquake camps, working diligently to maintain order, fight forced evictions, protect their tents and survive on a daily basis. Now Hurricane Tomas threatens to upend that careful balance. The Haitian government has called for the voluntary evacuation of all the quake zone's camps ahead of Friday's expected arrival of Tropical Storm Tomas, telling residents to find somewhere else to go. The Associated Press article reports, "People said, 'We've been displaced before. What's going to happen to us? Are we going to be able to get back?' " said Bryant Castro, an American Refugee Committee staffer who is managing the nearly 8,000 people at the Corail-Cesselesse relocation camp. Survivors are now being told to leave, and few have anywhere to go. Talk about going from bad to worse. Before you start shaking your heads, remember that the U.S. government still has yet to deliver the needed aid that was promised earlier in the year because of an objection by Republican Congressman Tom Coburn. This aid could have helped provide housing and health care for the survivors — which would, in fact, have helped many survivors have "some place to go." It isn't just the United States. Less than 15 percent of the $8.75 billion pledged internationally to help Haiti has actually made it to the beleaguered country. Now you can shake your heads, because that is ridiculous. We wonder if re-elected GOP Sen. Coburn, a staunch conservative and Christian, will rest peacefully tonight while 1 million Haitians continue to sleep outside, awaiting a hurricane that will surely bring further devastation to the country, knowing that he could have helped. Yes, he will, although we'd like to note that his actions are not very Christ-like. We'll be keeping Haiti in our prayers over here at The Root.


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