US President George W Bush has asked Congress for $7.1bn for disaster relief in Florida and other southern states hit by recent heavy storms.
If approved, the package will increase to $12.2bn the amount of aid allocated during the current hurricane season.
Florida is clearing up after Hurricane Jeanne struck at the weekend, killing six people and cutting power supplies.
Hurrican Jeanne had earlier caused devastation in Haiti, where more than 2,000 people were killed in flooding and landslides.
The storm has weakened as it heads north-east towards North and South Carolina.
Were you affected by Hurricane Jeanne? Are you in any of the other places that have suffered from storm damage recently? Send us your comments and experiences.
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This debate has now closed. Thank you for your comments.
I am so saddened by the devastation that has been caused by the recent hurricanes. Our thoughts and prayers as a community are with everyone, especially those in Haiti.
As part of a very rural farming community in Georgia we have been affected by crop damage, and small house and farm damage. Nothing compared to those in Florida and Haiti. We are helping them as best as we can by sending supplies. Our government is doing all it can and I know it would welcome help rather than scorn. As for those few individuals that insist on saying this is down to global warming and that America is to blame, let me tell you that I lived in the country in England for many years.
Coming here was a shock because America is portrayed so badly by the media. Here in Georgia it is like going back 50 years, we have farms, grow cotton, peaches and peanuts and you can drive 40 miles and not see another soul. We have our own wells, a futuristic sewer system that is on our land and gives everything back to the soil and we have a fantastic recycling system. This is the norm and we live in the middle of nowhere. The air is clean and crime is almost non- existent. Before you blame a country, I suggest that you do some research yourself and not rely on comics for your information. I also suggest that rather than blame why don't you start helping the people that are affected and not use this as a political tool.
Sharn Willis, Cochran, GA USA
It's a terrible shame that, the majority of content on this discussion is aimed at politics and the US/UK Haiti issues. It shows that people still are not aware of the lethal impact of Global warming that is happening now, not in 100 years. Why do people not question the reason for such destructive force? I think all people need to get their heads out of the sand, start helping people who are genuinely in need and start worrying about Global warming.
Steve, Turku, Finland
Global warming is causing the Caribbean to get warmer and attracting bigger hurricanes. Then add to that the element of extreme poverty caused by centuries of exploitation by the richer nation and a rapacious local elite working as a conduit for western interest and their own selfish interest, then mixed it with a political vacuum created by a regime change engineered by the west with the help of the local elite and voila: 2000+ dead in Haiti. I bet that figure is much higher.
I am afraid to say that this is only the beginning unless some long and short term plans are put in place by the US handpicked gov't with the help of the international community. A rapid reforestation program and an alternative source of energy for cooking is needed in the long term. In the short term people living in the low-lying areas will need to be relocated and the gov't will need to put in place a disaster management team. Tropical storm Jeanne was not a hurricane yet when it hit Haiti and the hurricane season is not over yet. This is the second major tropical storm that hit Haiti in a space of roughly 3 months or so and the current regime was not any better prepared to deal with this one than the previous one.
Mag, Seattle, WA via Haiti
I too, am fed up with hurricanes. I am more fed up, however, with the media. I live in the downtown area of Fort Lauderdale, and the effects of Jeanne were virtually non existent. All the branches that were supposed to fall had already been torn from the trees from the previous storms. As a result, there was little if any effect where I live. My family was worried because of all the news coverage, and all the destruction videos.
We watched a local news crew litter the background with garbage and palm fronds before they went live reporting. It was all a deplorable hoax, I believe, trying to terrorize the viewing public, when, in fact, nothing had happened. That should be illegal. News organisations are responsible for informing the viewing public of the news and such. They should also report if things are fine in some parts of the state, so not as to unnecessarily panic the public.
In the meantime, my neighbours and I all camped out and played board games and talked about life and such as we sipped on pinot grigio. It was just a regular stormy night for us. I shut the TV off and played some bosa nova. It was quite nice, actually.
Jaime, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Everyone in Florida is fed up. Jeanne is expected to hit Broward where I live very hard but I've noticed that people are not taking this seriously. This is because every time a hurricane has come it never really affected us so this time people are taking it as no big deal. Right now I can hear the winds gusting and the sky is gray. I hope BBC can explain to people that this is serious and is probably going to deeply affect us. I am 12 years old and I'm taking a deep interest in this. I hope others can do the same. Realize that this hurricane is currently a category three at about 115mph and possibly going to go up to a category four. It has hit both Haiti and the Bahamas at a lower intensity and look how much damage it has done. Please be sure that you stay safe and understand that this hurricane is not a joke.
Chrissybil Boulin, Pembrook Pines, Florida
I am from Gonaives. I am worried about my family in Gonaives because we can't get in touch with them - we don't know if they are alive or not.
Theodore Evena, Orlando, Florida
It seems to me that the politicians in the western world are only concerned about western citizens, why did 9/11 get shown more worldwide concern than what has happened to the poor people of Haiti? America was targeted because of the way it treats other countries, these poor soles were targeted by nature. A life is precious regardless of which country it lives in.
Chris, United Kingdom
I would like to remind all of those who think that the United States is not doing enough for Haiti that we have just had three hurricanes hit us and we have billions of dollars in damage to clean up. There are plenty of other countries in the world that could donate money but the responsibility always seems to fall on the United States. Everyone hates us until they want something from us. It's annoying and disrespectful.
Maria, West Palm Beach, FL
The plight of Haiti today represents an opportunity for all parties - Haitians, former colonisers and willing partners - to bury the past and start afresh. France could offer to take over the Governorship of the State for a fixed period during which a number of stated objectives would be embarked upon and towards which progress would be monitored by the UN, until leadership is handed back to the Haitians themselves. The objectives and controls put in place could give Haitians confidence in accepting such an interim arrangement. Under French leadership, the EU and the USA could be seen to be co-operating to remedy the condition of what is the western hemisphere's poorest country. France would require courage and Haitians would need to have the grace to accept such a proposal.
Ian Howarth, Antibes, France
After what Haiti experienced in May this feels like this is a script out of Hollywood, not reality. I implore the International community to help them! Living in the Bahamas, as a neighbour of Haiti's I'm embarrassed here in the Bahamas. People are more concerned that they still do not have power after Hurricane Frances, than the horrific loss of life in Haiti. Our government should be helping too, we have had islands hit by Hurricane Frances but it just doesn't compare to Haiti. Haiti has been ignored for too long, they need our help! Having said that it looks like Jeanne is now heading for the Bahamas now, having missed us the first time. What next?
Genevieve Siddons, Nassau, Bahamas
I think it would be bad if the people of Haiti were not helped. It's a sad situation and the people there need every kind of help they can get. Am sure some of the people no longer have anywhere to live so if the UN can double their efforts and other humanitarian organisations can help, then the people will be grateful. Thanks however go to the UN for the work they are doing and may God bless them. We will keep the people of Haiti in our prayers.
Diana Nadunga, Kampala, Uganda
The increase in destruction throughout the Caribbean from hurricanes this year should make every American stand up and demand that the Kyoto Treaty be signed by the US. The total disregard of the US administration in respect of Global warming is causing massive pain, destruction and anguish to millions. Sometimes people ignore a threat until it smacks them full in the chest. I imagine there are an awful lot of Floridians who want to see the treaty signed.
Mark Wilkes, Durham, UK
I spent nine months during 2001 in Fort-Liberte - the capital of North-Eastern Haitian province, as a Peace Corps volunteer. Three years later, I often think of the friends I left there and what became of their lives, who was lucky enough to emigrate, and how many are still alive. Life is very harsh in Haiti, and there's not much hope on the horizon. A handful of NGO's are trying to do their bit to help, but the needs are huge. The infrastructure is practically nonexistent and the lack of security make any outside help very difficult.
Eva Pedersen, San Diego, California, USA
I was actually surprised there was no coverage about Haiti when Ivan was around the Dominican Republic. In a town call Jeremie a lot of people died. I'm from Port-De Paix. Trois rivieres is the most dangerous river in Haiti - it kills hundreds of people and yes some parts of Port-de-paix are under water. I have friends who lost their relatives in Gonaives. What upset me the most is that this is a crisis for the United States to only have given Haiti $60,000 - that is such an insult for a country who claim they care about the island. It is a shame it seems that they forget history and who helped them in Savannah. It is a time for everyone to get together to help the Haitian people. Right now the heavy rain from Carl will impact Haiti. It will be worse. My heart and prayers are with my people and God will make them survive.
Giovanne Gauthier, Miami, Florida
I was born and raised in Gonaives, Haiti. I feel the US has finished raping my country of all its worth and the little dignity we had left. How can the US only donate $60,000 to help relief efforts? Countries like Europe send $1.8 million, and like Senator Kerry, here in Florida sees this as a slap in the face and so do I. For a country who claims they have the best technology, the best of everything how come all I and many others cannot get more news on our families and friends. I see the same pictures over three days nothing new. I read the exact same article all over the web. I ask you, where's the reporting? Because we are so poor I guess could be the answer to all our questions. I pray and hope other countries stand forth and put out some relief efforts to my country because I don't think any of US should wait on the US to do anything because they aren't.
Alshine Mondesir, Plantation, FL
I come from Haiti and when I heard about what storm Jeanne made there I immediately wondered why, why... as if my people have done something bad and would have to pay eternally. Since I was born nothing has changed but things are getting worse and we're doomed to accept. But do keep in mind Haitian people are proud and we will continue on fighting with pride even versus Nature. I trust in them.
Daphney, French Guyana
I have relatives who live in Gonaives and they, unlike many have been spared because they have a two story house. It is heart wrenching for me that very little assistance will be given to Haiti from the American government, because Haiti is a country that the Bush administration believes has no strategic importance and is therefore irrelevant. It also saddens me that we are all so used to seeing wealthy countries turn its back on poorer countries like Haiti, with very little public outrage. We also forget the wealth of western nations was created and remains in tact because of the exploitation of southern nations and peoples.
Thousands more will die in Haiti mainly because they are Black and the international community and the US will put a band aid to patch a surgical wound and will leave the country satisfied with a job they believe is well done. To my fellow Haitians, we will watch helplessly as our nation falls into the abyss. Perhaps Haiti is not Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, The Congo, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Angola however we are continuously left to commensurate in misery and despair as the world tries to determine if we are of strategic importance, qualify to be dubbed genocide victims, or simply deserving of humanitarian assistance.
Milka, NY, USA
I was in Haiti a few months ago in Port Au Prince. The poverty and the conditions are amongst the worse I have ever seen. I was impressed that even in the shanty towns the people maintained their dignity. Floods in Haiti are made far worse by the deforestation. When you fly over the country it looks as if it has been shaved. The world could help this poor island by simply encouraging the planting of trees to try and anchor the soil and slow or absorb the run off. This would have the added benefit of replenishing the soil for agriculture. The Haitians can never do this by themselves and it is a crime that this island exists in the state it does only a few hundred miles from the richest country in the planets history.
Paul, Philadelphia, USA
I would like to thank everyone who has been keeping Haiti and mainly the people in the badly affected areas in their prayers. I currently reside in Florida. I am from the city of Gonaives. For the past few days it has been extremely painful because we have not heard from anyone. The land lines are either down or the circuits are always busy and we can not even make contact through the cell phones. I have heard of deaths of a lot of notable people in the city (i.e. doctors, priests, pharmacists, teachers and civil servants) of course, we have not been able to confirm any of them. I have my uncles and their families in the city itself and my mom, aunt and other relatives are in the outskirts of the city. This is yet another wake up call for the Haitian people in Haiti and abroad, the Haitian government and international community. France, swallow your pride and do what is right!
Genane, Tampa, FL, USA
I spent a week in Gonaives this summer. What struck me most about the city (besides the poverty, the crowding, and the dirt) was how desert-like it was. There were quite a lot of cacti and the hills all around the city are brown and bare. The family that I stayed with told me that there had once been tree on the hillsides, but that they had been cut down to use for firewood. I remember one part of the road that we travelled each day had an old dried up mudslide across it. I could see where the mudslide started up on this mountain and could trace its path all the way down. I haven't heard from my friends yet. I just pray they're okay. This flood is so tragic because in Gonaives, as in all of Haiti, most people were barely or not quite making it already. What will they do now? When you fly into Haiti, there is a brown ring around the island. It is their topsoil, being washed away.
Beth Ann Smith, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
My thoughts and prayers go to the victims in Haiti. I, myself, have many cousins and uncles residing in the city of Gonaives. I can't get in contact with them. I'm praying God that they're fine. I'm glad to see UN down there helping out. My question is what's happened to the US Government?
Clara, Coconut Creek, FL, USA
To Clara, US: Where is the US? Where is the rest of the world as well? Why does the US need to carry the entire burden themselves? We are part of the UN peacekeeping forces, and I agree we should send aid, but we should not be the only ones helping, there are other countries out there.
I have never seen such a natural crime. Why has this happened? Those people have suffered from politics and poverty, and now Mother Nature.
Francis Auguste, USA
This is a very sad situation and the international community should assist these countries which have been affected by the floods. It will be very difficult for some people to repair their homes which have been destroyed.
Hudson Nyirenda, Blantyre, Malawi
Please do something for these people. Please don't bury your head in the sand and watch next year. Hurricanes are growing stronger and they need help to prepare.
Dominique, Costa Rica
Why does no one question the reasons why Haiti is deforested? There has been no mention of World Bank strategies. The rural sector is more important to improving and stabilising Haiti than supporting the urban private sector.
I would like to join Sir Peter van Dommelen in making a case against the shameful indifference against not just the Northwest part of Haiti, dubbed the Far West, where I am also from, but the entire country as a whole. Nobody seems to care about this poverty-stricken, storm-ravaged, disinvested and moribund island, where two hundreds years ago Freedom was born, dressed in black. It would be very appreciated if its woes could be mentioned in your columns, and maybe the West could send a genuine helping hand. Thank you, Sir Peter, the world needs more caring and intelligent people like you.
Nixon Lebrun, Plantation, Florida
The town of Gonaives has been completely destroyed by hurricane Jeanne. The hospital does not exist anymore. There is no government building as well as most private ones standing up following a rise in the flood water of 15 feet.
Hundreds of people have died and there is no food, no water whatsoever. The town does not exist anymore. The road to Cape Haiti does not exist anymore for it goes through Gonaives. Cape Haiti, Port-de-Paix and all the cost line suffered great casualties.
Here in Santo Domingo the storm did not hit as hard as expected but in other parts of the country, especially in the east it ravaged through towns. The multi-million dollar marina in Casa De Campo is currently submerged in six-feet deep water as the nearby Chavon River flooded. Also the easternmost part of the island was out of reach for the entire country as bridges fell and travelling by plane was impossible for more than three days.
Rosa Melo, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
I live in the east coast of the island where the eye of the storm passed. I had no work that day so I decided to go out in the storm as it began. We went with some machetes to unclog the sewers in front of my house as it was flooding the street. We were looking and walking around when suddenly a bunch of trees fell five feet from were we were, the McDonalds sign was ripped off the ground. The wind was catching up to a point that it moved us from side to side. We took shelter next to a cement bus stop where we saw signs, trees, dogs, fly away 10 to 20 feet, by a single gust.
Jose Antonio, Humacao, PR
My thoughts are with those in Haiti who have suffered or died because of this tragic storm. It is a shame that the international media chose to focus more of what Hurricane Ivan did in a wealthy country like the US as opposed to the destruction that Jeanne caused in a poor country like Haiti. People of Haiti, know that my prayers are with you.
Tristan, Richmond, VA, USA
I spent 3 years working in rural development in the North West of Haiti. I lived in Boucan Patriot, which is three hours by car from Gonaives, in between Anse Rouge and Jean Rabel and know the area very well. If there are 250 dead in Gonaives, there must be many more in the remote North West, which is an area that nobody travels to or is interested in. I am sad to see that the Cayman islands get coverage on the 10 o'clock news (which is one of the richest islands and three dead with hurricane Ivan) and Haiti has already been taken off your News Front Page here on your website after only 12 hours and without even finding out more what has happened to this poorest corner of South and Central America? The North West is the poorest area of Haiti and nobody cares or even takes the effort to go and see what is happening there. They need help, and your unbiased reporting would be a great gesture, as you did during the rebel uprising and Aristide's departure a couple of months ago.
Peter van Dommelen, Twickenham, United Kingdom
It's people like Chris from the UK that just make me shake my head. I'm preparing for Jeanne right now-it's a natural disaster, unlike 9/11, I wasn't going to work minding my own business not preparing for two airplanes to crash into my office building. There is blame for this disaster in Haiti. A Haitian Government that continuously reject US aid and whose citizen can't get their act together. Other countries prepare for disasters and people do in fact die, but what happened there was a disaster that could of prevented. As I read some of these posts you would think that the US caused this natural disaster.
Dalo, Coral Gables, FL - US
You destroy your environment and your environment destroys you. Look up Easter Island for reference.
I watched with great dismay your today's news regarding the situation in Haiti when I saw the so called " UN Rescue and aid " people firing tear gas on people in extreme distress and hungry. This is a complete and unacceptable failure of human decency to see tear gas used on despair. Is that the true face of the UN ? If those people are incapable of planning and evaluating the situation, their place was not certainly to be in Haiti. Thank you
Abasse Asgaraly, Toronto, Canada
I have to agree with Maria, also from West Palm Beach. The entire world seems to hate us, until they need something from us and it's rotten. She's right, we've just had 3 hurricanes hit in months time, and tomorrow, we will have yet a 4th. Even with all the expense of repairing and re-building, the government continues to assist other countries, even the ones who wouldn't help us. And to Chris from the UK, your comment about America being targeted on 9/11 because of the way we treat other countries? That is appalling. If Britain was in trouble, you know as well as I do that the United States would be the first to offer assistance. From one Briton to another Chris, it's people like you who give the British a bad name! At times like this, people need to pull together to help one another get through all this destruction and tragedy, finger pointing won't do any good!
Helen, West Palm Beach, FL
So many Haitians are complaining about the USA "exploiting" them, "doing nothing," etc., from---where?--- the USA. Haiti is an example of a country that has refused to solve it's own problems and blames the USA for everything that goes wrong, even a hurricane. Look at Singapore, look at Haiti. Look at Taiwan, look at Haiti. Look at New Zealand, look at Haiti. The USA did not cause the hurricane or the deforestation that resulted in the flooding, and Haitians are not dying "because they're black." They're dying because they will not use common sense and manage the soil properly, and won't take responsibility for their own government or living conditions. What are the Haitians living in the USA doing about it?
Jeremy, Atlanta, USA
As I am preparing to meet Jeanne this weekend, I am really ticked off at the rest of the world putting some kind of blame on the US for not helping out Haiti enough. We've just had 3 natural disasters in the Southeast, waiting for a fourth. We just sent million send millions to the Dominican, hey rest of the world put up or shut up. I do feel bad for what is happening there, but I want the Americans to take care of Americans first, then we can help (very European of us, don't you think). By the way, the comparisons of 9/11 and Haiti are distasteful and just plain wrong.
Mike Daly, Miami, FL - USA
Yet again another hurricane is headed for Florida. Who new Hurricane Gene would loop around and head straight for us? What are we, a magnet for these things? Give me a break!
Christina McNabb, Fort Myers, FL
Tristain, USA: I was recently on holiday in the USA and was disgusted by the amount of coverage that the American media gave to countries other than itself regarding the recent storms. In 3 weeks, i didn't see 1 news report talking about any of the Caribbean countries that were devastated by Frances or Ivan. Every report revolved around the USA. In the UK we have World News, and this highlighted the effects the storms were having on ALL countries along their paths. Maybe the American public wouldn't feel so hated if they stopped to think that it wasn't just themselves that were being affected - it's a big world out there.
Deforesting the country is one of the reasons for causing the mudslides. I hate to bring up population control at the risk of sounding insensitive but I think that is the main problem of Haiti. Same thing with the US, people are living on shifting sand on barrier islands and then a hurricane comes through and there is a lot of whining. Sand bars are meant to be uninhabited. I believe the devastation caused by these hurricanes are because of overpopulation and not living within the ecological limits of the land.
Barbara, Chicago, USA
Any politicization of this makes me sick. The people of Haiti need help -- it is the simple truth. I have endured a number of hurricanes and tropical storms here on the Gulf Coast. It is an unforgettable experience. I know how awful 120 mph winds are, and the thought of how much worse Jeanne was just makes me cringe. The only appropriate response to this is pity and aid to those who went through this. Yes, I agree that it would make sense for France to step in. Yes, I agree that Haiti needs reforestation (along with alternate energy sources so that the folks aren't driven to use wood as the only fuel source for cooking). Yes, I agree with so many things -- for later. Now, right now, not tomorrow, these people need clean water, food, blankets, medicine, and a dry place to sleep.
Margaret Dybala, Houston, TX, USA
I have just read unconfirmed reports on the island of Tortuga Just off Haiti has vanished and all the 26,000 inhabitants are believed to have perished. Please find out and confirm .this is most distressing and I cant see any reports coming through on British media. Please please God I hope this is not the case.