Hurricane Tomas Causes flooding in Haiti

Haiti, Friday Nov. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa) (Ramon Espinosa - AP)
Hurricane Tomas spared most of  Haiti a direct hit and high winds but still dumped over 10 inches of rain on the country causing major flooding and mudslides.
On Friday, residents fled a coastal city in Haiti that had been slammed twice already this decade by killer floods. The hurricane spared most earthquake-refugee camps in the capital but battered a seaside town to the west that was nearly destroyed by January’s earthquake.
Coming ashore at Haiti’s far southwestern edge, Tomas slammed the coastline with 135-km/h winds and killed at least four people with storm surge and rains.
It then flooded camps harbouring earthquake refugees, turning some into squalid islands in Leogane, a town west of the capital that lost 90 per cent of its buildings and thousands of people in the Jan. 12 quake. Two people were missing in the city.
Tomas turned streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince, into canals of flowing garbage. The storm largely spared the city’s vast homeless encampments, however, allaying fears that an estimated 1.3 million displaced people would suffer from high winds and rain on hillsides and in parks and streets.
Haitians had high hopes that the storm would move on before triggering floods in Gonaives, a northwestern coastal city that completely flooded in 2004 and again in 2008, killing thousands. As rains fell on the city’s slums of Raboteau and Jubilee, people living in the low-lying areas began heading for high ground.

source: Hurricane Tomas loses steam after battering Haiti by
Jonathan M. Katz Associated Press


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