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Security Brief: SOUTHCOM Week of December 13, 2021

Week of Monday, December 13, 2021 | Issue 54

Benedetta Piva, SOUTHCOM

Samari area in Cap-Haitien where the explosion occurred[1]

Date: December 13, 2021

Location: Samari area, Cap-Haitien, Haiti

Parties involved: Haitian citizens; Haitian government; Haitian hospitals; Humanitarian NGOs

The event: A fuel truck exploded during the night of Monday, December 13, 2021, in the Samari area near Cap-Haitien, in Haiti.[2] The explosion killed at least 75 people, injured more than 100 others, and burned approximately 40 homes.[3]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The number of deaths from the accident will almost certainly increase as local hospitals almost certainly do not have the resources to treat the large number of severely burned people. The irregular supply of power and water in the region will almost certainly compel healthcare professionals to limit their services, such as the use of ventilators. With Haitians still recovering from the earthquake in August, 2021, the tsunami in September, 2021, and the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals are likely to be understaffed and under equipped to treat individuals affected by serious burns in this accident. The Haitian government almost certainly does not have adequate medical and financial resources to deploy field hospitals and will likely need assistance from NGOs operating in Haiti.

  • This accident will very likely exacerbate Haiti’s fuel shortage issues and increase the cost of gas. The fuel shortage very likely prompted individuals near the accident site to go close to the truck to collect the spilled oil, likely injuring more people.

  • As oil is a cross-cutting product that links traditionally separate or independent parties, interests, or goods, its shortage will likely increase fuel prices and very likely boost the prices of basic necessities of the Haitian population. The fuel shortage will very likely impact the availability of water, which is delivered to people’s homes by trucks. Haitians will likely protest the water scarcity and the rising fuel prices, likely exacerbating the humanitarian, political, and economic crises in Haiti.

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[1] “Samari area” by Google Maps

[2] Dozens killed or wounded after explosion in Haiti, MercoPress, December 2021,

[3] Haïti : l'explosion d'un camion-citerne fait 75 morts, Euronews, December 2021, (Translated by Benedetta Piva)



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