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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 November 2007, 05:33 GMT
Hurricane Noel heads north-east
A boy dives off a roof in flooded Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic (31 October 2007)

A deadly Atlantic storm that has killed at least 116 people has moved past the Bahamas and is heading north-east on a long swing towards Canada.

Noel was upgraded to a Category One hurricane late on Thursday before it passed through the Bahamas.

By 2100 GMT on Friday the hurricane was some 510km (320 miles) off the coast of the US state of North Carolina, US hurricane officials said.

The slow-moving storm had already hit Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Cuba.

A British Royal Navy vessel and helicopters are being deployed to help the relief efforts in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and the US is sending around $600,000 worth of emergency supplies including blankets, tents and clean drinking water.

The US has also despatched an eight-man assessment team from USAID to help coordinate relief work.

Bermuda, a British territory in the mid-Atlantic, posted a gale warning in case Noel veers more to the east than forecast.

The storm is expected to weaken as it travels north-east over the cooler waters of the Atlantic, but is still forecast to bring storms and heavy rains to Nova Scotia, Canada, in coming days.

The death toll of at least 116 has made Noel the deadliest storm of the Atlantic region this year.

After the floods

On Thursday Noel drenched the Bahamas, where cruise ships have been delaying their arrival until the weekend.

One man was reportedly drowned when he abandoned his stalled truck and was sucked into a pond by floodwater.

In low-lying areas of eastern and central Cuba, 24,000 people were forced to leave their homes and at least 2,000 homes were damaged by flood waters.

No deaths were reported officially in Cuba where crops sustained significant damage in some areas.

In the Dominican Republic, which had been placed under a state of emergency, at least 73 people died as chest-high flood waters surged across swathes of lands early in the week.

Hundreds of volunteers joined civil defence forces to help stranded communities isolated for three days.

They have been heading out in boats and helicopters to reach dozens of communities stranded by floods and mudslides.

In Haiti, 43 deaths were confirmed with many bodies found in and around the capital, Port-au-Prince.

One person died in Jamaica when a house collapsed because of heavy rain.

In September, Hurricane Felix killed 101 people in Nicaragua and Honduras.

Latest weather forecast on Hurricane Noel

Caribbean storm deadliest so far
01 Nov 07 |  Americas
Caribbean storm death toll rises
01 Nov 07 |  Americas
Torrential rains lash east Cuba
30 Oct 07 |  Americas
Haiti flooding death toll rises
13 Oct 07 |  Americas
Country profile: Dominican Republic
13 Jul 07 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Haiti
19 Jul 07 |  Country profiles


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