Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Haiti wants major camp evacuated ahead of storm

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – It was the jewel of Haiti's post-earthquake recovery: an organized relocation camp with thousands of tents billed as hurricane-resistant, lined up evenly on graded mountain soil.

Now, staring down an expected hit later this week from a hurricane, officials say Corail-Cesselesse is not safe. On Tuesday, the government advised the estimated 7,850 residents of its primary relocation camp to ride out the storm somewhere else.

"We're asking people in Corail to voluntarily move from where they are and go to the houses of family or friends. The places the government has identified are churches and schools that are available for shelter from the storm," civil protection official Abel Nazaire told The Associated Press.

Camp managers held a "loudspeaker meeting" with megaphones to tell residents about the evacuation order, said Bryant Castro, the American Refugee Committee staffer managing the camp. Residents were told to seek any home they could find with relatives, friends or lovers.

A hurricane over the weekend, Tropical Storm Tomas was meandering its way through the central Caribbean on Tuesday with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. Its center was about 385 miles (620 kilometers) south-southwest of quake-devastated Port-au-Prince and moving west near 14 mph (22 kph).

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