9 dead as storms lash Caribbean

2012-04-26 08:19
Port-au-Prince - Heavy rains drenching the Caribbean island of Hispaniola have caused mudslides and floods that killed up to nine people in Haiti and forced more than 11 000 people to flee their homes in the neighbouring Dominican Republic, authorities said.

Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste of Haiti's Civil Protection Office said nine people died in the southern and western parts of the country. The deaths included a 6-year-old child and a woman killed by landslides in the capital of Port-au-Prince and four who drowned in rivers outside the city, she said.

The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs gave a lower toll from three days of heavy storms at the start of the rainy season. It said in a statement that only six people had died since Monday.

High water and heavy rain are creating problems for the nearly 500 000 people still without homes in the aftermath of Haiti's 2010 earthquake.

In the Dominican Republic, officials said there had not been any reports of deaths or injuries, but said about 11 150 people had been evacuated from their homes.

Emergency office spokesperson Jose Luis German said nearly 3 000 homes were flooded when rivers and streams spilled from their banks in the northern province of Puerto Plata and some central and south-eastern towns.

He said 23 of the country's 32 provinces were at risk for flooding in the coming days since rains were forecast to continue for the rest of the week.

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