Friday, September 5, 2008

Over 500 Dead in Haiti Hurricanes

Also see: Hurricane Hiroshima Strikes Haiti, Cuba
"Death toll in flooded Haitian town soars; As waters recede, nationwide count reaches 529" by Joseph Guyler Delva, Reuters | September 6, 2008

PORT-AU-PRINCE - More than 500 people died when up to 5 yards of muddy water swept through the Haitian town of Gonaives this week, triggered by torrential rains from Tropical Storm Hanna, police said yesterday.

The 495 dead in Gonaives brought the toll for all of Haiti to at least 529 after a week of floods and mudslides caused by Hanna, a storm that swirled over the southeastern Bahamas islands for a couple of days before aiming for the Carolinas on the US East Coast yesterday.

A freighter with food supplied by the UN's World Food Program and carrying other supplies including drinking water docked in Gonaives, where the streets were thick with mud and littered with the carcasses of drowned animals after four days of floods.

Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas where most people scrape by on less than $2 a day, has been hit by three storms in less than a month. Tropical Storm Fay killed more than 50 people last month while Hurricane Gustav left at least 75 dead.

In Hanna's wake came fierce Hurricane Ike, which could dip close to northern Haiti before taking aim at Cuba, south Florida, or potentially the Gulf of Mexico next week.