Tropical Storm Isaac cut across the beleaguered nation of Haiti today and left behind a very tired and anxious people. Winds that gusted to hurricane strength knocked down tents and temporary houses and poured rain through the openings of roofs still damaged from the 2010 earthquake. Flash-flooded rivers shot over their banks and into every low lying area sending Haiti's poorest and most vulnerable fleeing for higher ground. Above, a family from the Fuji community near Cite Soleil braves waist deep water in search of somewhere dry. Below, the main bridge into Cite Soleil from Route National is very close to being flooded. Our truck struggled to keep traction as we made our way in to check on our friends at a tent community called Tapis Verte. Police have now closed the road as vehicles are stalling out and motorcycles are being swept away by the rapidly rising waters. Foot traffic continues on but treacherously so.
|These residents of Fuji Community struggle to make their way to their houses to see if any of their belonging or even their houses survived.|
Tapis Verte is a tent community that marks the entrance of Cite Soliel proper. There are hundreds of internally displaced persons living in makeshift structures of tarp and tin and bailing wire that have been there since the earthquake. Below a young girl, her arms in her skirt to keep warm, stands in front of her fallen house.
Above, a mother of three stands in disbelief in front of her home. She asks "What will I do?" The resilient but tired residents of Tapis Verte wait for an answer. Until finally a man throws his arms hopelessly into the air and says. "This is our misery." Below, children navigate the narrow muddy paths between tents. Mud sticks to everything along with the very real fear that another cholera epidemic may hit this and other communities much harder than this storm.