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Haiti - Climate : The point on Tomas, Haiti on alert
02/11/2010 10:21:45

Haiti - Climate : The point on Tomas, Haiti on alert
"The forecast track for Tomas, a storm which formed in late October, is typical for November hurricanes," said CNN meteorologist Bonnie Schneider.

"This storm could not have come at a more difficult time," said Nigel Fisher, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti.

"Half a million people could be affected by this hurricane, no matter the strength of this hurricane. The problem is that we have 1.3 million people living in 1,300 camps in Port-au Prince and all around Port au-Prince. Winds and rains can be a major disaster for those people living under tents or plastic sheeting [...] for the first time relief agencies are dealing with three disasters at the same time, in fact: the aftermath and the consequences of the earthquake, the cholera outbreak, and the next hurricane " reported Elisabeth Byrs spokeswoman for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Tomas tropical storm moves over the Caribbean Sea. This Tuesday at 5:00am, the center of Tomas was located at 13.5 degrees north and 72 degrees West. 570 km south of Port au Prince (355 miles) with sustained winds of 85 km/h (50 mph) a slight increase compared to Monday (+10%). Tomas moves at 19 km/h (12 mph) speed unchanged.

Forecast models shows that the change of trajectory towards west-northwest, then accentuated towards northwest will occur in the next 45 hours. Tomas will continue to weaken slightly but could begin to strengthen in the evening on Tuesday. Forecasters expect the storm Tomas could become a Category 1 hurricane on Thursday around 2:00 am (winds of 119-153 kph (74-95 mph)

If the trajectory remains the same, Tomas will be:
Friday 2:00am to 242km (163 miles) of Les Cayes and 394km (245 miles) from Port-au-Prince

Saturday 2:00 am to 55km (34 miles) from Port-au-Prince and 39km (24 miles) from Saint-Marc

Note that the winds of Tomas may impact up to 185 km (115 miles) from its center and they are more intense in its center.

Remember that hurricane Tomas (Cat.1) brought death and destruction during its passage at Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Thomas and Martinique in the Small Antilles. In St. Lucia, 14 people died, hundreds of homes were destroyed. Damage are estimated to more than $100 million. More than the wind (120 km/h), it is the downpour that are primarily responsible for significant damage to infrastructure.

Haiti remains on orange alert level on all the territory.

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