Haiti on orange alert as tropical storm Laura approaches

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Haiti activated the orange alert on Friday in the face of the arrival of a tropical storm and is preparing to protect its inhabitants from the heavy rains and gusts of winds expected on Saturday, mainly over the northern half of the country.

“Rainy and stormy activities likely to cause flash floods, floods, landslides will be expected first on the northern portions, then on the whole of the territory”, warns the national meteorological service in a special bulletin.

“Gusts of strong to violent winds and rough seas are also expected in the northern regions,” he said.

Christened Laura, the thirteenth tropical depression of the season is expected to cross the northern Lesser Antilles on Friday evening, before passing to Puerto Rico on Saturday, then to the island of Quisqueya, shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Faced with bad weather, the Haitian authorities prohibit from Saturday afternoon cabotage operations, that is to say short trips from port to port, along the coasts.

On Wednesday, 14 people died in the sinking of a makeshift sailboat that made the crossing of about ten kilometers between the north of the country and Turtle Island.

Every year, from June to November, Haiti is under the threat of cyclones, but heavy downpours are enough to threaten the lives of the most disadvantaged citizens, forced to live in risk areas, near canals or gullies clogged with waste.

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