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he floods of 24 May 2004 and the trag-ic loss of thousands of lives in south-

Summary: 1915
he floods of 24 May 2004 and the trag-
ic loss of thousands of lives in south-
eastern Haiti and Jimaní, Dominican
Republic, provide important lessons for sci-
entists, conservationists, and politicians. The
same storm did not
have such a devastat-
ing effect in neigh-
boring Puerto Rico
or in other regions of
Dominican Republic, mainly because the
highlands are forested. The mountains of
southeastern Haiti, the major source of the
flood, are quite a different story--they are
virtually treeless. Sixty years ago, most of
the mountains of Puerto Rico were also tree-
less, but forest recovered as the economy
shifted from agricultural to industry and


Source: Aide, Mitchell - Department of Biology, Universidad de Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology