Thirteen people die after heavy rainfall causes a landslide in Haiti

At least 13 people have been killed in northern Haiti after two days of heavy rain, according to the Haitian Civil Protection Agency. The majority of the deaths were caused by a landslide in the southeastern region of the coastal city of Cap-Haïtien. In addition to the fatalities, more than 2,200 houses were flooded and significant livestock losses occurred due to the flooding of the Haut-Cap River. Crews were clearing roads in northern Haiti, with more rain expected in the coming days.

The heavy rains in northern Haiti coincided with new attacks by gangs in the country, just days after a new prime minister was announced. This combination of storms and violence has exacerbated the problems facing Haiti, further complicating relief efforts and recovery. The situation is particularly dire in Cap-Haïtien, where the landslide caused a significant number of deaths and destruction. The flooding and widespread damage to homes and livestock have compounded the problems faced by the region’s residents.

Neighboring Puerto Rico also experienced heavy rains, causing widespread flooding and air travel disruptions. At least a dozen flights scheduled to land in the capital San Juan had to be diverted to the Dominican Republic and other locations due to weather conditions. The US territory faced significant challenges due to the heavy rains, with local authorities scrambling to control flooding and provide assistance to those affected by the severe weather. The impact of the storms was felt across the region, impacting transportation, infrastructure and daily life.

The impact of heavy rains in Haiti and Puerto Rico underlines the region’s vulnerability to extreme weather events and natural disasters. Climate change is likely contributing to the frequency and intensity of these events, making it essential for governments and communities to prioritize resilience and preparedness. The combination of heavy rains, landslides, flooding and gang violence poses a complex set of challenges for Haiti and Puerto Rico, requiring coordinated efforts to address immediate needs and build long-term resilience.

Efforts to clear roads and provide aid to affected communities in northern Haiti are ongoing, with authorities working to mitigate the impact of the storms and support those in need. The loss of life, homes and livestock is a tragic reminder of the vulnerability faced by vulnerable populations in the region, who are often the hardest hit by natural disasters. As recovery efforts continue, it will be important for local and international organizations to work together to meet the immediate needs of those affected and to support long-term recovery and resilience-building efforts.

The recent storms in Haiti and Puerto Rico are a stark reminder of the urgent need to address the underlying vulnerabilities that contribute to the impact of natural disasters in the region. In addition to investing in infrastructure improvements and disaster preparedness measures, it will be critical to address issues such as gang violence, poverty and political instability, which can worsen the impact of severe weather events. By taking a holistic approach to disaster risk reduction and climate resilience, governments and communities can better protect vulnerable populations and build a more sustainable future for all.