In Disaster’s Path

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  • published August 24, 2012 @ 12:08 pm EST

With 400,000 Haitians in tents, the American mainstream media makes it seem that the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., is the only thing in Hurricane Isaac’s path.

Once again, the real story has been missed, where just a little over 700 miles south of Miami, hundreds of thousands of people who are still trying to piece their lives back together after a catastrophic 7.0 earthquake struck the Caribbean island nation back in 2010, are now situated directly on the path of the strengthening hurricane.

As the storm churns west-northwestward through the central Caribbean, many Haitians in Isaac’s harm are afraid of leaving their tents in fear of losing their only home and belongings. Clearly, these tent cities will be no match against hurricane force winds that could exceed 100 mph.

Major rapid flooding and mudslides will likely create widespread devastation, especially within these makeshift tent cities housing thousands of refugees. Even with some wind resistant tents, the approaching tropical storm which may become a minimal hurricane as it sweeps over Haiti today is likely to cause immense destruction for these people already struggling to live in deplorable conditions.

What’s worse is that these people do not have access to technology, and reports on Twitter have suggested that the Haitians do not even know what’s coming and have yet to be warned…

The National Weather service has reported that an estimated 98 percent of trees in Haiti have been cleared for use as building materials and fuel.

According to KiroTV.com,

As we know from experience in the Pacific Northwest, after wildfires flooding can quickly occur in burn areas as soil easily is washed away from bare land. This has all the signs of a catastrophe in the making into the weekend.

Water-borne diseases such as cholera will become an extreme threat in this impoverished area after the storm passes through.

Meanwhile, back in the United States, Republicans are panicking over the storm affecting their national convention in Tampa. Almost all news about Hurricane Isaac mentions nothing about the 400,000 Haitians in tents but rather whether or not the weather conditions in the city of Tampa will be suitable for the GOP convention.

ABC’s World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer mentioned Isaac for three minutes on air, leaving out the part about the Haitian refugees. It’s as if we forget that these people are people, that they too, are humans.

The same goes for Syria, where 20,000 have been slaughtered by their own government in a matter of months. The photos and videos have been tweeted, uploaded to YouTube and Instagram, the revolution made transparent for all the world to see such atrocity, yet a shooting at a movie theater in Colorado has trumped those 20,000 Syrians.

As news organizations monitor this storm for the RNC, we will continue to follow the story of the Haitians. They too, are people. Their stories need to be told just as well.