Tomas = fan.

If a storm like Tomas was as close to Panama City as it is to Port-au-Prince Haiti, there would be storm studs standing along the beach in what must be rain and some wind talking about how we’re all gonna die and stuff.

As it is, I have no idea what is going on there. Anybody know?

The serious part of the storm should be affecting land areas in Haiti some time tonight, and continue to do so through the day Friday into the evening. The winds will not be strong but if you live under a sheet of corrugated metal (meaning you’re one of the lucky ones in this earthquake-rattled region) a 55 knot wind will still blow away your house. So, given the context, even if Tomas never regains hurricane strength, it will still be destructive.

But, as you know, the rain is the real threat, as flooding and slope wash in the deforested, hilly region can be deadly.

Also, it is possible that the hurricane will spin up. There is one model which shows Tomas going from about 45 knots to 70+ knots in a very short amount of time. Other factors seem to mitigate against this actually happening however, and it is not too likely.

Jamaica is also going to get some stormy weather, as are the Bahamas. The public advisory is here.

The death toll in Haiti stands at 442 from the current cholera outbreak.

Health authorities are concerned that the situation may worsen as Tropical Storm Tomas approaches the impoverished nation, still recovering from a devastating January earthquake that killed 250,000 people and left 1 million homeless. Tomas is projected to pass over Haiti on Friday.

cnn

Comments

  1. #1 Stephanie Z
    November 4, 2010

    Have you reached out to Arikia? She’ll be watching closely and got better information than most on the earthquake aftermath.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    November 4, 2010

    I checked her blog, but it is fairly inactive, and nothing on her facebook feed about this, which is current, so I figure she’s not linked in there at the moment, or choosing not to engage visibly.

  3. #3 gwen
    November 4, 2010

    I am very disheartened (but not totally surprised) that all of the money donated to Haiti relief would being so ineffectively spent. I would have thought that they would have started out with cholera, tetanus, typhus vaccinations. These are diseases we KNOW will show up soon after any mass disaster. Most of the people are STILL homeless. Where is the money being spent. I have a cousin organizing relief in Haiti (he has been using his money to go to Haiti for years to build schools and provide other relief–none of it religious). I understand the wobbly infrastructure of the country has completely collapsed, but after the Katrina fiasco, there should be a plan..

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    November 4, 2010

    Actually, the cholera may have been a semi independent thing. There is not a good vaccine for cholera in general, if things are now the way they were when I worked in cholera areas. This is a strain that arrived from Asia somewhere just now, so if there was a vaccination program it may have been ineffective. (It may even be that they don’t vaccinate any more for it, but rather, just treat it).

    Nonetheless, everyone still seems to be living in tents. It has been a while. I assume there is no serious effort to help there beyond the flash in the pan right after the last disaster.

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