Tag: Earthquakes

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Don't Be Fooled in Haiti: Unlikely Tourist Sites for Unlikely Tourists

Where: Haiti
April 22, 2011 at 12:02 PM | by | Comments (0)


The National Palace, collapsed and abandoned after the quake

In the wake of Japan's tragic events, the world has been quick to forget Haiti's 7.0 earthquake, which ruled the headlines through 2010. As the country continues to rebuild, the tourists slowly trickle back. Jaunted special correspondent Soo Ah M. Lee recently returned from a medical volunteering mission in Port-au-Prince, and will share her Haiti travel stories and voluntourism tips all this week. This is her story:

As I've said in this series before, I traveled around Haiti in a small group, and this is how most foreigners will also experience it. Occasionally, between volunteering, we'd drive to experience some leisure. Since the earthquake, Haiti hasn't exactly been a tourist destination but when I finally opened up my eyes a bit, I saw that it can be a hidden gem.

Here are few conventional and non-conventional places to visit in and around Port-au-Prince, places that I didn't truly discover until I experienced them myself:

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Don't Be Fooled in Haiti: How to Be Charitable When Everyone is in Need

Where: Haiti
April 21, 2011 at 12:28 PM | by | Comments (0)


Being chased by children asking for help

In the wake of Japan's tragic events, the world has been quick to forget Haiti's 7.0 earthquake, which ruled the headlines through 2010. As the country continues to rebuild, the tourists slowly trickle back. Jaunted special correspondent Soo Ah M. Lee recently returned from a medical volunteering mission in Port-Au-Prince, and will share her Haiti travel stories and voluntourism tips all this week. This is her story:

Before I begin this fourth article in the series, I just want to clarify that I am not a doctor. My main role in my team was providing medical services in the role of assistant. Basically I helped with passing out medicine and giving gifts to all the patients seen by the actual doctors. In this role, I accompanied volunteers to two churches, three orphanages, several home visits and some communal areas to provide services. Most of the visits were in Cité Soleil—one of the biggest and poorest slums in this side of the world, with a known population of about 300,000 people. Other times were spent in Canaan—also known as "Tent City," because some 200,000 here are still living in tents.

I felt mentally, emotionally, and spiritually drained after visiting such heart breaking locations. I felt even worse upon seeing children suffering from malnutrition, diseases and bacterial issues. As a volunteer and a foreigner here, you feel compelled to do something, anything to help. Charity is a delicate issue, however, and visitors quickly learn the right and wrong ways to provide help.

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Don't Be Fooled in Haiti: Tap-Tap Trucks, Translators and Tropical Beaches

Where: Haiti
April 20, 2011 at 1:09 PM | by | Comment (1)


In the wake of Japan's tragic events, the world has been quick to forget Haiti's 7.0 earthquake, which ruled the headlines through 2010. As the country continues to rebuild, the tourists slowly trickle back. Jaunted special correspondent Soo Ah M. Lee recently returned from a medical volunteering mission in Port-Au-Prince, and will share her Haiti travel stories and voluntourism tips all this week. This is her story:

During my trip, I spent most of the time traveling on a Tap-Tap truck, which is basically a pick-up truck with seats and a hood on the trunk. As for public transportation, there are these Tap-Taps and then there is the bus. The latter is easy for locals and near impossible for visitors, since bus stop signs at stop locations are nonexistent. You will however notice them coming from a ways away, since these buses are often colorful and painted with Bible verses in French or Creole.

I really wanted to try out the bus, but was advised not to. I stuck to the Tap-Tap trucks. As in other day-to-day things in Haiti, foreigners can easily be cheated out of money or detoured. Of course both of these situations should be avoided as much as possible, so here are some tips for transportation in Haiti:

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Don't Be Fooled in Haiti: Avoiding the Mafia and The Trials of Finding Food

Where: Haiti
April 19, 2011 at 10:51 AM | by | Comment (1)


A rental property for volunteers

In the wake of Japan's tragic events, the world has been quick to forget Haiti's 7.0 earthquake, which ruled the headlines through 2010. As the country continues to rebuild, the tourists slowly trickle back. Jaunted special correspondent Soo Ah M. Lee recently returned from a medical volunteering mission in Port-Au-Prince, and will share her Haiti travel stories and voluntourism tips all this week. This is her story:

I went to Haiti with a non-profit that gives 100% of their proceeds to those in need. When I paid $300 for my stay in Port-au-Prince, I thought this was quite a lot since Haiti is a developing country. Alas, I came to discover that it was spent on lodging, dining, transportation, translators, and admittance to a private beach. Everything was covered with $300. Regardless, I realized later that I was misled in many ways that could not be helped.

The place I slept was a house rented by missionaries supported by the non-profit with whom I traveled to Haiti. We were lucky; it had a full kitchen (refrigerator and a stove/oven) with a dining area, 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms (the two bathroom I saw had bathtubs in them), 1 storage room, and two communal areas; some rooms even had their own balcony. There was one big downside to this nice place, however...

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Don't Be Fooled in Haiti: How to Ditch the Con Men of Port-Au-Prince Airport

Where: Haiti
April 18, 2011 at 10:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

In the wake of Japan's tragic events, the world has been quick to forget Haiti's 7.0 earthquake, which ruled the headlines through 2010. As the country continues to rebuild, the tourists slowly trickle back. Jaunted special correspondent Soo Ah M. Lee recently returned from a medical volunteering mission in Port-Au-Prince, and will share her Haiti travel stories and voluntourism tips all this week. This is her story:

I flew down to Haiti from Chicago, on American Airlines. When I first landed in Port-Au-Prince, my first thought after exiting the plane was, “is this really a third country in need?” You see, unlike some Caribbean Islands (ie., St. Maarten) where you walk down the portable stairs out of the airplane and load immediately into a bus, Haiti wants to show off its fancy, newly built airport.

While walking down a corridor towards customs and immigration, I felt the air conditioning running full blast; there were even escalators. All this was before customs, and based on what I have seen so far, I thought my Haiti experience wasn’t going to be so bad. Boy was I in for a rude awakening…

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Delta Nixes Tokyo-Haneda Flights Over Growing Nuclear Meltdown Fears

March 17, 2011 at 1:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

This week has been absolutely horrific for Japan, and for the world in general considering that what's happening with the earthquakes, tsunami and nuclear issues impacts everywhere else in some way or another. Really, we don't even have the words to describe how badly the last several days have been, when tragedy gets piled atop fresh tragedy.

In the travel sector, the freshest loss to Japan today has been the withdrawal of Delta's new direct routes from Detroit and Los Angeles to Tokyo-Haneda, the metropolis' smaller international airport, which only inaugurated a shiny new international terminal in October 2010. The flights have stopped for now, and are not schedule to resume until May 31 from Detroit, and June 2 from Los Angeles at the earliest.

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Japan's Nuclear Emergencies Freak Out Germany, Divert Lufthansa Flights

March 15, 2011 at 9:35 AM | by | Comments (0)

In Japan over the last few days, there's been a massive earthquake, tragic tsunamis and even a volcanic explosion, but the news gripping the world is that of their ongoing emergencies at several nuclear plants. Note the word "ongoing," as the other three big events happened and are done with.

It was reported very early this morning that Lufthansa isn't taking the nuclear crisis and release of radioactivity into the atmosphere sitting down (or rather, flying high as normal). The German airline has begun scanning their planes out of Japan for radioactivity, and though nothing above a normal level has been found, Lufthansa is taking precautions by removing the Airbus A380 from Tokyo routes and putting most Lufthansa flight crew up in South Korea rather than Japan.

In addition, the two daily Tokyo-bound Lufthansa flights from Germany will be diverted to other Japanese airports through this upcoming Sunday. Specifically, Lufthansa Flight 714 from Munich will head to Nagoya and Lufthansa Flight 710 from Frankfurt will land at Osaka-Kansai.

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Relief From the Sky: What the Airlines are Doing to Help Japan (and How You Can Join In)

Where: Japan
March 14, 2011 at 10:47 AM | by | Comments (0)

They may be standing strong in the wake of both horrible earthquakes and the tsunami, but Japan does need our help, and badly. Think about all the enjoyment you've gotten from Japan—good sushi, awesome video games, breakthrough technology, superior customer service (for example)—and consider donating to relief efforts.

Cash is obviously the easiest way to contribute and it's the most in demand, since then charities can put it towards whatever is most needed. If you like the idea of getting a thanks for your donation, American Airlines, in partnership with the Red Cross, will kick you back AAdvantage miles for your donation:

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Japan's Earthquake Tsunami Waves Go Easy on Hawaii and California

March 11, 2011 at 1:36 PM | by | Comment (1)


This is footage from JAPAN, not of Hawaii or California, by the way.

Hawaii's tsunami warning still has a few more hours to go, but at this point, it appears as though the islands have escaped devastation. The waves that did arrive weren't recorded as cresting more than 6 feet (in Maui), though most seemed between 2 and 4 feet. There was no major damage reported, and today in Hawaii is progressing as normally as possible, even as Japan still still works to gauge the the amount of havoc Mother Nature wreaked on them earlier, following the 8.9 earthquake offshore.

Surprisingly its southern California that's seen the most of the North American results of the earthquake, with boats marinas swamped and small property damages. As a result, evacuation signs are being posted and residents of areas in danger are encouraged to stay tuned to the local news. Waves have been reported to be as high as 7 feet, though Santa Monica—where the surfers are still out—will likely only see around 3 feet.

Our recommendation? Don't stand at the beach and look out to sea, expecting to watch the tsunami waves. IF they're big enough to see, then they're large enough to wash over you pretty shortly after.

[Video: CNN]

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Japan's 8.9 Earthquake Causes Tsunamis and Destruction, Airport and Train Closures

Where: Japan
March 11, 2011 at 10:52 AM | by | Comments (0)

Last night, or after lunch if you were in Tokyo, a massive 8.9 earthquake hit off the western coast of Japan, causing a rolling of the earth felt though many cities, including Tokyo. The event also produced tsunami waves, which have caused immense destruction in Japan and are currently hitting Hawaii, though no damage has been reported there.

We've glued to our computer, watching tsunami videos as helicopters filmed it live. Watch them here and take a moment to reflect on the fragility of this Earth. We also bet you're on information overload, as are we, so here's what you need to know, straight from the news:

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Christchurch Suffers 6.3 Magnitude Earthquake; Air New Zealand Pledges help

February 22, 2011 at 8:37 AM | by | Comments (0)

Yesterday in New Zealand—or what is today to most of the world—a 6.3-strength earthquake right right underneath the city of Christchurch, causing much destruction and at least 65 deaths. Both the city's Anglican and Catholic cathedrals were partially destroyed in addition to many other downtown buildings and Christchurch's airport terminal has suffered damage. Currently the airport is open only to emergency aid flights, after over 1,000 travelers and airport staff were evacuated following the quake.

In regards to tourism, Christchurch was enjoying the high point of the summer season, but this earthquake combined with the 7.1 jolt that shook nearby the city back in September are making more than just the tourists nervous. You know we love us some New Zealand Travel, but the country does unfortunately sit right on the Pacific Ring of Fire.

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Is It Still Safe to Travel to Puerto Rico after Yesterday's Earthquake?

May 17, 2010 at 8:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Yesterday morning, a 5.8-magnitude earthquake rocked the western coast of Puerto Rico, causing immediate panic for locals and tourists. Luckily for Puerto Rico, this event was not anywhere near as deadly and destructive as the 7.0 earthquake that decimated areas of Haiti in January.

For travelers heading to Puerto Rico, no flights have been cancelled and there have no reports of injuries or structural damage to hotels and resorts in Aguadilla, Anasco, San Sebastian and Mayaguez, all cities close to the epicenter in Moca. They have actually been very lucky with this, although geologists warn that this earthquake is only a warning for a much larger one to follow. But they always say that; California is way overdue to sink into the ocean as it is. Just check out this world map of earthquakes within the last week—they're happening constantly!

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