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2,500 homes evacuated after 36 hours of rain in Haiti

CAP-HAITIEN — At least 2,578 homes were flooded and three destroyed after heavy rainfall lasting nearly 36 hours in Haiti’s Northern, Northeastern and Nippes Department struck Haiti. More than 2,500 families were forced to evacuate homes in about 20 communes.

Among the communes partially flooded are Cap-Haitien, Haiti’s second largest city, Ouanaminthe, Fort-Liberté and Trou-du-Nord in the north, and Anse-à-Veau and Baradères in the Nippes Department, according to the country’s General Directorate of Civil Protection. 

The rain, which began Jan. 29, was caused by a cold front from a cool mass of air that came from North America, according to Marcelin Esterlin, coordinator of the Hydrometeorological Unit of Haiti (UHM). The cold front usually starts in December but meteroists couldn’t predict how severe it would be, the meteorologist said.

“It’s very difficult to identify its exact quantity unlike storms,” Esterlin said. “Sometimes they come and go back up without rain, but this one was tough.”

More rainfall is expected particularly in the northern region due to residues left behind, Esterlin said.

Victims in a variety of areas in Cap-Haitien, like Haut-du-Cap and Quartier-Morin, fled to neighbors and family members’ homes, residents said. Protection Civil agents, accompanied by the city’s Deputy Mayor Patrick Almonor helped residents evacuate their homes.

Over in the northeast, the electrical center in Caracol flooded and Ferrier‘s main road was damaged after a bridge collapsed at the entrance to the town, according to Civil Protection. In the Nippes Department, a group of residents went to a “secured building,” according to Civil Protection. 

Government officials have yet to speak in public to address their plan of recovery.

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