5 dead as storm pounds hurricane-stricken Haiti

AFP , Friday 21 Oct 2016

Five people were killed and one person was missing as torrential rains sparked flooding in Haiti, as the country still reels from devastating Hurricane Matthew, the Civil Protection Agency said Friday.

The victims were in Haiti's northwestern Nord-Ouest department, which is particularly vulnerable to storms because of deforestation. The tropical storm made several rivers overflow.

"In the commune of Baie-de-Henne, two houses close to a ravine were swept away by floodwaters Thursday night," said Jose Rethone, a civil protection official in the Nord-Ouest department.

"We recovered five bodies, and a person who was in one of the houses and swept away is still missing," he said.

The communes that are flooded are those that had been most ravaged by Hurricane Matthew a little more than two weeks ago, the agency said.

Torrential rains continue to pound the southern peninsula of the Caribbean, where the hurricane hit hardest, and weather forecasters see no letup before Saturday.

On the southern coast, Les Cayes, Haiti's third-largest city, is largely flooded. Residents who venture into the streets during the storm fight water up to their knees, an AFP reporter said.

Following the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew, nearly 1.5 million people, of a total population of 10.3 million, need emergency humanitarian assistance, according to a United Nations estimate.

The heavy rains have blocked efforts to deliver the aid because several bridges on the road that crosses into the southern peninsula remain damaged from the hurricane and some rivers cannot be crossed.

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