Death toll reaches 42 as deadly floods engulf Haiti |

Adeyemi Adeyemi

Global Courant

Thousands have been displaced and dozens have died from flooding as the country reels from climate change and political crisis.

Dozens of people have died in the Caribbean island of Haiti as heavy rains and floods ravage the country.

On Monday, the government’s disaster response agency said at least 42 people had died, 13,300 had lost their homes and 11 were missing following a weekend of downpours that triggered mudslides and caused rivers to overflow.

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“It is essential to follow the recommendations of local authorities regarding flood risk prevention and evacuation,” the country’s civil defense said in a statement Monday. The agency added “also takes this moment to remind people at risk not to cross swollen waterways and wild waters under any circumstances”.

The floods have turned city streets into swirling brown rivers, damaged homes, displaced residents and swept away cars and debris. The disaster is the latest in a series of crises in Haiti, which has been battling an economic downturn, rising gang violence and political instability.

Rivers began to flood on June 3 due to heavy rainfall, forcing people to leave their homes in at least five of the country’s 10 departments: Ouest, Nippes, Sud-Est, Nord-Ouest and Centre.

On Sunday, the government reported a death toll of 15. But on Monday, the civil protection agency increased the death toll to 42, with at least 85 injured.

Haitian authorities have said emergency response teams are reaching affected communities, some of which have been cut off from transport routes by the floods.

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In a tweet on Sunday, Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry said the government was “cooperating with national and international institutions” to “take urgent action to meet current demands.”

The World Food Programme, the United Nations’ food aid agency, has said it will begin providing hot meals to displaced people and mobilizing resources to provide rations and dry food to up to 15,000 people.

The floods have brought further hardship to Haitians, almost half who, according to the UN, experienced high levels of food insecurity before the floods. The disaster also underscores the threat climate change poses to people in countries with fewer resources to prepare for and mitigate the effects of extreme weather events.

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Death toll reaches 42 as deadly floods engulf Haiti |

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