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Tropical Storm Isaac Batters Haiti 

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Old 08-25-2012, 01:08 PM
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Tropical Storm Isaac Batters Haiti

MEXICO CITY — Tropical Storm Isaac whirled across Haiti on Saturday, delivering strong winds and rain that caused flooding, mudslides and several deaths, according to preliminary reports, but not the kind of destruction feared on the earthquake-battered island.

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News radio and social media users reported streets flooding in the capital, Port-au-Prince; some mudslides in rural areas; downed trees and power lines; and shredded tents that left people miserably soaked in the camps that house some 400,000 survivors of the January 2010 earthquake.

At least three people were reported killed by midday Saturday. A woman and a child died in the town of Souvenance, and a 10-year-old girl died in Thomazeau, The Associated Press reported.

The brunt of the storm passed across Haiti’s southern peninsula, its 60-mile-an-hour winds blowing the roofs off many houses in Jacmel, a tourist resort on the south coast, residents said.

Local radio reports indicated that 5,000 people had been evacuated in the provinces and more than 3,000 around the capital to government buildings, schools and other temporary shelters, though many people mistrusted the plans and stayed behind in the camps.

The tropical storm was skirting southeastern Cuba on Saturday, heading toward the Florida Keys. National Hurricane Center forecasts said it could strengthen into a hurricane before hitting the Keys on Sunday.

It was then predicted to slide past the west coast of Florida in time to deliver rain and thunderstorms on Tampa as the Republican National Convention gets under way there on Monday. By Wednesday it may strike the Florida Panhandle as a hurricane.

But the main worry on Saturday was Haiti, which is ill equipped to handle yet another disaster. Its last major brush with a storm, Hurricane Tomas in 2010, left more than 20 dead in flooding.

Haiti is a “huge concern,” Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, said Friday. The expected rainfall was enough to produce “life-threatening conditions everywhere,” he said.

The storm was expected to produce 8 to 12 inches of rain, with up to 20 inches at higher elevations. Haiti’s extensive deforestation creates a high risk of dangerous mudslides after heavy rainstorms.

In Port-au-Prince, Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe appealed for calm and advised Haitians to follow text messages sent out by the Haitian Red Cross with instructions on emergency preparedness and information about the risks of landslides.

The Red Cross sent trucks into camps perched on the hillsides of the capital to broadcast warnings over loudspeakers, said France Hurtubise, a spokeswoman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Port-au-Prince.

On Friday, the Haitian government began evacuating 2,000 women, children and elderly people from government-run camps in the capital that were at risk for mudslides, and other residents were asked to seek shelter with friends and relatives.

Many people were unwilling to leave their homes in the camps for fear of looting. “We cannot force them to leave,” Ms. Hurtubise said. “We can only make sure that they have the best protection.”

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Old 08-25-2012, 02:05 PM
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Re: Tropical Storm Isaac Batter Haiti

very sad. im vacationing in Florida next week and i sure hope it dont ruin the trip.

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Old 08-25-2012, 02:44 PM
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Re: Tropical Storm Isaac Batter Haiti

I shall now shut up moaning about today's precipitation

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