Haiti floods kill at least four

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Flooding triggered by torrential rain in Haiti left four people dead and one missing, authorities said Tuesday.

Violent weather affected at least 20 districts across Haiti in recent days, flooding more than 2,500 homes and completely destroying three.

Three of the deaths and the missing person were reported in the north-west of the impoverished Caribbean country. The fourth fatality was in the north-east, civil defence officials said.

Cap-Haitien, Haiti’s second largest city with 300,000 inhabitants, was hit particularly hard, with a number of neighbourhoods flooded.

A bridge serving a small town in the northeast was damaged and an industrial park was flooded in the same area, bordering the Dominican Republic.

However, a full picture of the damage is not yet available as travel in the city is still difficult, the country’s Civil Protection Agency said.

Major damage during heavy rains in Haiti is not uncommon due to poor drainage infrastructure.

A lack of an efficient garbage collection system also poses a health hazard during downpours, particularly for Haiti’s poorest families living in informal dwellings near canals or ravines blocked with waste.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people have crowded into a shelter in Haiti as authorities Wefdnesday struggled to provide drinking water and have been unable to reach several communities affected by the heavy flooding.

Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency said people urgently need water, food and blankets.

In the neighboring Dominican Republic, authorities reported at least one death, according to the Listín Diario newspaper.

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