At least 42 dead and thousands displaced after the floods in Haiti

At least 42 people have died and thousands have been displaced after a weekend of heavy rain and widespread flooding in Haiti, the country’s capital disaster response agency said Monday.

Heavy rain, which fell mainly on Saturday and Sunday, inundated more than 13,000 homes, displacing people across Haiti, according to the agency. He also said 85 people were injured and 11 missing after the floods.

As rescuers scrambled to provide food, clean water and shelter to those affected, the western parts of the Caribbean nation appeared to have taken the brunt of the heavy rains.

In western parts of Haiti, more than 5,500 homes have been affected by rain and flooding, leaving more than 2,500 people displaced, the agency said in a update Sunday. In the central region, he said the agricultural sector was also affected by the rains.

Videos circulating on social media depicted dramatic scenes over the weekend, while heavy flooding made some streets look like flowing rivers with vehicles floating away.

Jean-Martin Bauer, interim humanitarian coordinator for Haiti at the United Nations, said in a declaration on Monday that numerous schools and other buildings were damaged, particularly in the western and northwestern regions of Haiti.

“Although this is neither a cyclone nor a tropical storm, considerable damage was observed in the affected areas,” Bauer said.

At the press conference on SundayActing Prime Minister Ariel Henry thanked the disaster response agency’s volunteers for their work. He said go ahead Chirping that federal agencies were working to meet the “demands of the day”.

The death toll was highest in the port city of Léogâne, west of Port-au-Prince, the capital, where 19 people died according to authorities. As of Monday afternoon, no deaths or injuries had been reported in Port-au-Prince, but some 4,500 homes have been affected by the flooding, authorities said.

Supermarkets opened in Port-au-Prince on Monday, but many businesses in the area were still closed. Storms brought rain to Port-au-Prince for hours on Saturday, sometimes flooding some streets, but overall the city has not experienced the significant flooding that has claimed dozens of lives west of the capital.

Widespread flooding was the latest blow to a country that has become all too familiar with natural disasters, most notably a magnitude 7 earthquake in 2010 that killed more than 200,000 people and destroyed much of Port-au-Prince.

Since then, Haiti has struggled to recover from the massive effects the earthquake had on the nation’s economy and infrastructure, while dealing with other natural disasters. In August 2021, more than 1,900 people were killed in Haiti after the country was hit by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake, followed by heavy rains from a tropical depression just two days later.

“I am particularly concerned about this situation at a time when the Haitian population is already highly vulnerable,” Bauer said Monday, adding that the flooding occurred “at a time when the country is facing a serious humanitarian crisis.”

Even before this weekend’s rains and floods, nearly half of Haiti’s population, some 5.2 million people, were in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations.

Andre Paultre contributed reporting from Port-au-Prince.