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European Commission

MEMO

Brussels, 25 August 2012

EU closely tracking the passage of Tropical Storm Isaac in Haiti

Brussels, 25 August, 2012 – The Tropical Storm ISAAC is still passing through Haiti bringing heavy rains, rising sea levels and winds of up to 375 km an hour at the centre.  In Brussels and on the ground, EU teams are closely tracking the path of the storm and anticipating the potential damage that this disaster-prone island could suffer as a result.  The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection experts in Haiti will facilitate the assessment of the damage, and enable the EU to adapt and step-up its long term support immediately, if acute needs remain unaddressed once the storm has passed.

There is a major concern for around 390,000 displaced people living in tent-camps scattered across the earthquake affected areas. These people are vulnerable to heavy rains, which could cause both flooding and mudslides.  Some of the most vulnerable people were evacuated to concrete buildings shelters before the onset of the storm by ECHO's partners, , with the support of the Haitian Red Cross.  Red Cross workers also toured tent camps to warn of the advance of the approaching cyclone, while text messages were sent out to tens of thousands of people urging them to stay away from rivers and to evacuate tent camps in case the storm hit.  This preparedness will have saved many lives and confirms that EU humanitarian funding, which has totalled €184 million since 2009, is of vital importance to the people of Haïti.


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