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Caribbean storm death toll rises

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Caribbean storm death toll rises

Rescue teams are searching for hundreds of people reported missing in parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti hit by torrential rains.

At least 250 people have been killed in floods, officials say. Heavy rains have been falling for more than two weeks and more storms are expected.

The border areas of the two states on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola are among the worst affected.

US and Canadian peacekeepers posted in Haiti joined the relief effort.

They have been using helicopters to carry supplies to the worst-hit regions, a spokesman for the US-led 3,600-strong force said.

They found my daughter - now I have to see if I have any family left

Flood victim

Many roads remain impassable after weeks of rain.

At least 110 people have been found dead in the western Dominican town of Jimani, where two rivers overflowed their banks.

One resident was reported to have been swept along by the raging torrent, only surviving by catching on to the branch of a tree.

Many missing

Frantic relatives have been digging through mud for loved ones, as a makeshift morgue at the town hospital filled with dozens of corpses.

"They found my daughter," a distraught woman standing outside the morgue told AP news agency.

"Now I have to see if I have any family left."

More than 200 people in the Jimani region are missing and thousands have been made homeless.

Cut off

Air force and army teams have been searching for survivors.

The government has sent emergency teams, including hundreds of extra troops, from the capital, Santo Domingo.

"We are co-ordinating urgent measures to rescue survivors and evacuate people who are in danger," said National Emergency Commission (NEC) chief Radhames Lora Salcedo.

In Haiti, at least 140 people have been reported killed, according to local radio stations.

The dead were mostly from towns in the south-east of the country, near the Dominican border and Jimani.

It is feared that dozens still lie buried under the mud and wreckage.

Damage to both countries' crops and infrastructure is being estimated at many millions of dollars.

In the neighbouring US territory of Puerto Rico, at least one man was missing and some 100 people had to flee their houses because of flooding.

Story from BBC NEWS:


Published: 2004/05/25 21:35:11 GMT


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