RAINS CAUSE FLOODS IN HAITI; OFFICIALS SAY 12 DEAD
PORT-AU-PRINCE — Steady rains flooded portions of the Haitian capital over the weekend, turning streets into rivers and leaving at least 12 people dead, civil protection officials said Monday.
Storms falling on the mountains that ring the capital sent cascades into the pitch-black downtown, where trucks left boat-like wakes as they forded boulevards.
At least 10 people were killed in Port-au-Prince on Saturday and Sunday, most when surging rivers burst through houses built in ravines, civil protection chief Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste told The Associated Press. One victim fell into an open sewer. Others were killed trying to cross rivers.
Two children were killed when mud slid into earthquake-refuge camp in Carrefour, west of the capital. An AP Television journalist who reached the camp Monday said dozens of families were repairing their tarps. The rocky dirt under other post-quake settlements, home to an estimated 1.3 million people, turned into spongy mud and then lakes.
Aid groups and officials overseeing Haiti's post-earthquake reconstruction have been on guard for heavy rains since the Jan. 12 disaster. Canals were cleared and drainage ditches dug around some of the better-managed camps.
But even without a direct hit from a hurricane this year, 23 rain-related deaths have been confirmed over the last month in southern Haiti, including the quake zone.
The national meteorology center issued flash-flood warnings across Haiti's southern peninsula through Tuesday, which extends west from Port-au-Prince.