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Hurricane Tomas bears down on Haiti
Barbara Denman, Baptist Press
November 05, 2010
2 MIN READ TIME

Hurricane Tomas bears down on Haiti

Hurricane Tomas bears down on Haiti
Barbara Denman, Baptist Press
November 05, 2010

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — An

embattled Haiti is bracing for Hurricane Tomas, which strengthened into a hurricane today before its projected hit.

In the 10 months since the

Jan. 12 earthquake, Haitians have lived in fear of two potential threats, with

more than 1.3 million homeless in unsanitary and unstable tent cities: disease

and hurricanes in the tropical climate.

Those living in tent cities

are most at risk. What the strong winds do not destroy, the floodwaters will,

as thousands of tents line riverbanks and low-lying areas.

Florida and Southern Baptist

disaster relief teams on the ground in Port-au-Prince are making preparations

for the worst, said Eddie Blackmon, Haiti Rebuild coordinator for Southern

Baptist Disaster Relief.

“We are sending two medical

teams from Pensacola back to the U.S., getting our water supplies together in a

safe place and filling up our vehicles with gas, much like we do when a

hurricane is threatening Florida,” said Blackmon. Construction materials being

used to rebuild homes also are being secured, he noted.

Although media reports

suggest that the government is moving people out of the tent cities, Blackmon

said he had driven through the tent cities in Port-au-Prince during the past

two days and “seen no movement. My biggest concern is for the people in the

tent cities.”

“There is really no place

for them to go,” Blackmon added. “If there were, the government would have

moved them before now.”

Fritz Wilson, incident

commander of the Haiti earthquake response and Florida Baptist disaster relief

director, reported that the convention has 17 tons of rice positioned in

warehouses across Haiti, with pastors trained for making distributions if

needed.

“We have our supplies and

resources on the ground,” Wilson said.

“In God’s timing,” he said, “next

week we are scheduled to take more than 4,000 Buckets of Hopes to Jeremie and

Les Cayes,” towns in southwestern Haiti where the hurricane is likely to hit.

Each bucket, packed by Southern Baptist hands, contains enough food to feed a

Haitian family for more than a week.

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