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ハリケーン・マシューのもたらした惨状が人為的ミスにより悪化 Oct 15th 2016

The misery of Hurricane Matthew is deepened by human failure

Why Haiti did worse than Cuba in protecting its people



THE scene is appallingly familiar: entire towns in ruins; thousands of people without food, water or shelter; clothes and belongings strewn across the landscape; the dead buried in mass graves. Nearly seven years after an earthquake wrecked Haiti, killing perhaps 200,000 people, disaster has struck again. This time it was wind and waves that brought devastation.


in ruins:廃墟となって、荒廃して、破滅して

 Hurricane Matthew made landfall close to Haiti’s westernmost point, ripping across the Grand’Anse region before heading back into the Caribbean. The town of Jérémie, home to about 30,000 people, has been largely destroyed; perhaps 1,000 people have died.

landfall 山崩れ、地滑り、〔台風の〕上陸、陸地接近, 圧勝
westernmost 最西の


Like Jérémie, Baracoa in Cuba was devastated by Matthew’s winds of about 225kph (140mph). But unlike Jérémie, no deaths have been reported in Baracoa. Cuba’s communist government has a well-rehearsed drill. State-controlled media warn residents for days of approaching hurricanes; schools are closed and turned into shelters. State-owned buses are dispatched to evacuate residents. Local party snoops, known as the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution, with representatives on every block, make sure the elderly or infirm are not left behind.


In contrast with Cuba’s authoritarian state, Haiti’s government barely functions. The infrastructure is poor, with few solid buildings. Haiti’s media are chaotic. High crime rates mean residents refuse to leave their homes unattended.


authoritarian state 権威国家、権力国家

 “We knew it was coming, but we didn’t know what to do,” says Alexis Bernard, a 22-year-old man, sitting in the ruins of his now roofless house in the hamlet of Torbeck. Haunted by the earthquake of 2010, he feared being buried under falling masonry. He and 12 other members of his family, including a baby girl, spent the worst hours of the storm in the open. They survived with only minor injuries.


hamlet 村落

 Haiti’s interim president, Jocelerme Privert (elections to choose his successor were again postponed after the hurricane) says his government did its best: “We undertook an extensive campaign to make people aware, to mobilise them, to alert them to move away from the zones at risk. Had we not undertaken this I fear we would be looking at a higher death toll.”


 The aftermath of Matthew may prove even worse. Mr Privert has warned of the risk of “widespread famine”. The UN says 1.4m people need immediate assistance. One big worry is the spread of cholera, which the UN inadvertently brought to Haiti when Nepalese peacekeepers, infected with the disease, were deployed following the earthquake. About 10,000 Haitians have died of cholera since then. Much of the water supply in the hurricane-struck region risks being contaminated.


 Lewis Lucke, a former head of USAID in Haiti, notes another problem: unlike the earthquake, which destroyed buildings, the storm damaged fishing boats and agriculture. That leaves a large part of the country unable to fend for itself. Take Grand’Anse: it had recently been the source of some optimism, following the building of a new road and the arrival of mobile-phone coverage. Banana and cocoa plantations were beginning to flourish. Much of that has gone.