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Page last updated at 23:04 GMT, Wednesday, 3 September 2008 00:04 UK

Deadly Hanna threatening Bahamas

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Swathes of land in Haiti were under several feet of water

Emergency warnings have been issued in the Bahamas as Tropical Storm Hanna approaches, having already left at least 25 people dead in Haiti.

It hit the Caribbean as Gustav, a storm which killed 77 in Haiti last week, crossed the US coast at Louisiana.

Hanna, which could become a hurricane as it heads towards the US, has dumped heavy rain on Cuba and Puerto Rico.

Haiti's president said his country was experiencing a "catastrophe" and said he would appeal for aid from donors.

"It is believed that compared to Jeanne, Hanna could cause even more damage," President Rene Preval said.

The Haitian leader was referring to Tropical Storm Jeanne, which left more than 3,000 people dead in 2004.

Mr Preval said he would hold emergency talks with donor countries to appeal for aid.

Two other major storms - Hurricane Ike and Tropical Storm Josephine - are following in Hanna's path.

'Ripping up trees'

Hurricane shelters were being readied across the Bahamas archipelago as residents in the northern town of Freeport stocked up on emergency supplies in anticipation of Hanna's arrival, reports said.

At 2100 GMT on Wednesday, Hanna was about 60 miles (95km) south-east of Great Turk island and moving northwards, the US National Hurricane Center said.

It forecast Hanna would head over the Bahamas and towards the south-east coast of the US in the next few days.

In Haiti, the northern city of Gonaives bore the brunt of Hanna's maximum sustained winds of 100km/h (65mph) on Tuesday, with people on roof-tops screaming for help as floods reached depths of 2m (6.5ft).

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"There are a lot of people who have been on top of the roofs of their homes over 24 hours now. They have no water, no food and we can't even help them," Haitian Interior Minister Paul Antoine Bien-Aime told Reuters.

UN peacekeepers and aid workers have been trying to reach stranded survivors.

"The situation is as bad as it can be," the UN's Vadre Louis told the Associated Press news agency.

"The wind is ripping up trees. Houses are flooded with water. Cars can't drive on the street. You can't rescue anyone, wherever they may be."

Storms have killed more than 100 people in Haiti in the last three weeks.

The impoverished Caribbean island was first drenched by Tropical Storm Fay, before Hurricane Gustav wreaked havoc last week, with torrential rainfall over heavily deforested and hilly terrain causing floods and mudslides.

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SEE ALSO
Eyewitness: Haiti's storm ordeals
02 Sep 08 |  Americas
New Orleans ready for mass return
03 Sep 08 |  Special Reports
Gustav's 'pure terror' for Cubans
02 Sep 08 |  Americas
Deadly hurricane weakens in Haiti
27 Aug 08 |  Americas
Animated guide: Hurricanes
01 Jun 05 |  Science/Nature
Rise in 2008 hurricanes predicted
07 Aug 08 |  Americas
Country profile: Haiti
04 Jun 08 |  Country profiles

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