Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rains, mudslides kill 10 in cholera-stricken Haiti

Joseph Guyler Delva in Reuters: A storm unleashed torrential rains, mudslides and flooding in Haiti, killing at least 10 people, Haitian officials said on Tuesday after thunderstorms pounded several Caribbean countries. The heavy rainfall across the region, which began over the weekend, comes after the June 1 start of the Atlantic hurricane season and as Haiti and the Dominican Republic grapple with cholera outbreaks that could be worsened by flood waters.

In the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, flooding swept through crowded slums and tent camps housing hundreds of thousands of people still homeless from Haiti's devastating earthquake last year. Haiti's civil protection director, Alta Jean-Baptiste, said many of the dead lived in low-lying areas and failed to heed government warnings to evacuate. "They are people who decided to build in river beds and other areas of risk," she said.

A large low-pressure system over the northwestern Caribbean Sea had a 20 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression in the next day or two, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Heavy rains threaten to cause flash floods over portions of Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and eastern Cuba as the system moves slowly toward the northwest or north over the next couple of days, the center said…

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