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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 October 2005, 12:41 GMT 13:41 UK
Storm Alpha's death toll hits 26
Haitians cross an over flowed river
Hundreds of houses were destroyed in Haiti
The number of people killed by flooding and mudslides triggered by Tropical Storm Alpha in the Caribbean has risen to 26, authorities have said.

Haiti has confirmed the deaths of five more people, bringing the total known to have died there to 17.

In the Dominican Republic - which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti - nine people were killed.

Alpha was the record-breaking 22nd named storm of the Atlantic season, forcing the use of the Greek alphabet.

Most of the victims in the Dominican Republic were swept away when a river broke its banks in the northern province of Puerto Plata.

In Haiti, the Interior Ministry said that four people were still missing there after Alpha destroyed hundreds of houses.

The two countries were already saturated from other recent storms.

Hurricane Wilma had killed more than 20 people when it battered parts of Mexico, the Caribbean and the east coast of the United States.

Alpha has now subsided, but a new tropical storm named Beta has formed in the south-western Caribbean Sea, extending to 23 this year's record of named storms in the Atlantic hurricane season.

Shelters

President George W Bush is due on Thursday to visit areas of Florida hit by Wilma.

He signed an order declaring the US state a major disaster area and releasing federal money.


Florida's residents have been clearing up the devastation.

Thousands of people remain in shelters and many are still struggling to find food, water, ice and petrol.

Power crews are working to restore electricity to millions of homes and businesses.

Wilma was the strongest hurricane to hit the Miami area since Andrew in 1992.

Cubans also cleaning up after Wilma forced 600,000 people from coastal areas, where several villages were flooded by big storm surges.

In Mexico, fierce winds and flooding from Wilma battered Cancun, nearby Playa del Carmen, the scuba diving island of Cozumel and smaller resorts along the coast.

Thousands of tourists in Cancun have been stranded in deteriorating conditions, often without running water or electricity.

Many of them are struggling to get flights out of Mexico.




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