Page last updated at 03:43 GMT, Sunday, 28 February 2010

Rain triggers deadly floods in Haiti


Heavy rainfall in Haiti

At least eight people have been killed in floods triggered by heavy rain in Haiti, officials have said.

The deaths occurred in or near the southeastern port city of Les Cayes which was swamped by more than 1.5m (5ft) of water.

Officials said buildings affected included a hospital and a prison where more than 400 inmates were evacuated.

About a million Haitians are still homeless following January's earthquake which killed up to 230,000 people.

The floods have come several weeks ahead of Haiti's traditional rainy season.

"The situation is grave... whole areas are completely flooded. People have climbed on to the roofs of their homes," local senator Francky Exius told AFP news agency.

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Witnesses said some homes had collapsed and people were fleeing for safer areas.

At least two people are reported missing in the floods. One report puts the death toll at 11.

Staff at the flooded hospital in Les Cayes moved patients to the safety of higher floors, reports say, while UN peacekeepers helped police to evacuate the jail.

Les Cayes lies on a peninsula 160km (100 miles) west of the capital Port-au-Prince.

It was unaffected by the earthquake, but its 70,000 population has been swollen by survivors fleeing from earthquake-hit areas.

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