Haiti is grappling with the aftermath of heavy rains that have caused flooding and landslides across the country, resulting in at least 15 deaths, with eight people still missing and thousands of families affected. Over the weekend of June 3 – 4, 2023, the entire Hispaniola island nation was drenched in rain, causing several rivers to flood and forcing local authorities to enact emergency measures.
The country’s Civil Protection Agency reports floods and landslides have affected 7 475 families, damaged 1 219 houses, and displaced approximately 13 390 people. The West, Nippes, South-East, North-West, and Center administrative departments were the hardest hit.
In the West department alone, more than 5 510 households were damaged. The central region’s crops were “very impacted,” according to the Agency.
Images and video footage circulating on the internet reveal the dire situation, with people seeking refuge on the tin roofs of houses as floods swept through their villages.
The Civil Protection Agency has urged residents to keep informed about the weather and safety instructions, as the Hydro-Meteorological Unit of Haiti continues to monitor the evolving weather conditions and forecast scattered thunderstorms and showers throughout the country through June 6.
Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who was at the National Emergency Operation Center on Sunday morning when he received an update on the situation, tweeted, “My government, together with national and international institutions, is adopting urgent measures to meet the demands of the day.”
With more rains expected, there is a fear of more flooding, landslides, and associated disruptions. The death toll is likely to rise as search and rescue operations progress, and more evacuation orders may be issued for flood-prone communities in the coming days.
According to the Haitian Civil Protection, 42 people died, 11 are missing, and 85 have been injured.
6 334 people have been evacuated, almost 12 800 families were affected, 13 500 houses flooded and several roads were destroyed.
In the Departments of West, North-East and North-West, most of the rivers overflowed, while in Ouest Department, where 19 people died, five municipalities have been hardly impacted by widespread floods.
June 7, 07:20 UTC
The death toll rose to 51 and the number of missing to 18. Another 140 people were injured, the Haitian Civil Protection said.
The storm flooded 31 591 houses, of which around 820 were destroyed, and left 39 458 families homeless.
1 HAÏTI – SAISON CYCLONIQUE : BILAN DES ACTIVITÉS PLUVIEUSES DU 3 AU 4 JUIN 2023 DANS LES DÉPARTEMENTS AFFECTÉS – Haiti Civil Protection Agency – June 4, 2023
2 15 killed, 8 missing after heavy rains cause widespread flooding in Haiti – UPI – June 5, 2023
3 Haiti: Disruptions due to flooding ongoing across most of the country as of late June 4 – Garda – June 4, 2023
Featured image: chave (stillshot)
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