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Killer storm sweeps across Haiti

A storm set off mudslides and flooding that killed at least 11 people in Haiti.

Rains engulfed the capital Port-au-Prince for several hours, turning hilly streets into rivers and sweeping debris down denuded hillsides.

Motorists abandoned their cars. Women could be heard screaming for help as water pounded the supposedly temporary settlements that arose after last year's powerful earthquake.

Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste, director of Haiti's Civil Protection Department, said 11 people drowned or died in mudslides. All but one of the deaths happened in the Port-au-Prince area.

Officials fear the hurricane season, which officially began last week, could exacerbate a cholera outbreak that already has killed 5,000 people.

Haiti's newly elected President Michel Martelly took to national television just before midnight to calm the nation as the storm was still passing over the city. "This message is to tell the population that I'm with you," the president said.

Mr Martelly said the seaside slum of Cite Soleil flooded and walls toppled in the hills above Port-au-Prince. He ordered government construction workers to show up to work early.


From Belfast Telegraph