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Killer floods strike Haiti

Heavy rains prove deadly in country's capital

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (UPI) | June 8, 2011


"The great vulnerability of both Port-au-Prince and the country as a whole is clearly evident in the aftermath of this most recent storm"

—Alce Jean-Baptiste


Heavy rains just after the start of the Atlantic hurricane season killed at least 23 people in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, officials said.

The rains triggered flash floods and mudslides, as well as caused roofs to collapse and debris to be swept onto roads that quickly turned into mud, The Miami Herald reported Tuesday.

Officials said the storm was the worst yet after 10 consecutive days of steady showers.

Officials said the deadly rains are a reminder of how susceptible Haiti remains to stormy weather and a deadly cholera outbreak that killed more than 5,300 and hospitalized thousands in recent weeks. Haiti's capital also still is recovering from last year's deadly earthquake.

"The great vulnerability of both Port-au-Prince and the country as a whole is clearly evident in the aftermath of this most recent storm," said Alce Jean-Baptiste, Haiti emergency and human security coordinator for ActionAid, an anti-poverty agency working in several camps for earthquake victims.

In Port-au-Prince, several dozen people had to be evacuated after their tent encampment flooded, the Herald said. In Gressier, residents took refuge on rooftops after floodwaters engulfed the community, civil protection authorities said.

More wet weather was expected Wednesday in some parts of Haiti, as well as in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, forecasters said.

Copyright 2011 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.


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