Haiti to See Tropical Storm Emily, Aid Workers Prepare

Tropical Storm Emily is inching closer to an already fragile Haiti.

Although the storm is likely to weaken as it passes through the Dominican Republic on its way to Haiti, Diana Goeller, a meteorologist with the U.S. National Hurricane Center, said that heavy rain could occur and that it definitely poses a threat to Haiti.

Haitian officials have prepared 22 buses for evacuating people out of flooded areas, and have been urging their citizens to conserve food and safeguard their belongings.

The biggest threat to the lives of Haitians that the storm presents is most likely through the potential for flooding.

Although the worst of the storm is set to pass through Haiti, the heavy rain packed in Emily will likely engulf the country and cause suffering.

Flooding could pose a large problem as an estimated 634,000 people continue to live in displacement camps from the 2010 earthquake, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Flooding could also spread water that has been contaminated with cholera, a waterborne disease that has been spreading throughout Haiti's displacement camps.

UN peacekeepers have been told to prepare for any potential disasters and other major NGO's operating in Haiti are on standby to provide relief services if necessary.

Haitian authorities have called for evacuations and Haitian weather service chief Ronald Semelfot said that the storm, "represents a great danger for the country still fragile from the January 2010 earthquake."

Haiti's capital, Port au Prince, is expected to see up to 6 inches of rainfall.

Haiti's neighbor, the Dominican Republic is likely to see up to 10 inches of rain and Dominican authorities have been working on moving people out of high risk zones.

The storm currently has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph).

A storm watch is now in effect for the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas. The U.S. Virgin Islands are no longer under threat.