New Tropical Storm Proves Fatal


Heavy rain from Tropical Storm Noel caused at least eight deaths in Dominican Republic, authorities said on Monday (10/29).

At least three other people were reported missing as rains lashed Hispaniola, the island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti, said a spokesman for the Dominican emergency services agency.

The spokesman said some of the victims were killed in Santo Domingo, the capital, and the others died along the southern coast.

Many people were caught off guard by the ferocity of the rain, he said.

The island is particularly vulnerable to flooding because of its steep
mountains and many people live in simple shacks.

Noel was expected to drop as much as 20 inches of rain throughout the day before heading northwest toward the Bahamas.

Dominican authorities said at least 600 people had been evacuated as the storm touched off landslides, flooded rivers and pushed storm surges onto Santo Domingo's seaside boulevard.

Swollen rivers also forced evacuations in Cabaret, a town north of
Port-au-Prince where floods killed at least 23 people earlier this month, said the director of Haiti's civil protection agency.

It could take days for Haitian authorities to learn of flooding in some parts of the country, where communications are limited.

Haiti is still recovering from floods that killed at least 37 and sent more
than 4,000 people to shelters earlier this month.

Mountainous terrain weakened the storm overnight, but Noel still had sustained winds of about 45 miles per hour as it passed near Haiti's northwestern coast, according to the US National Hurricane Center in Miami.

At 11 a.m. EDT, Noel's center was about 80 miles east-southeast of Cuba's eastern tip and about 300 miles southeast of the central Bahamas, forecasters said.

A long-term forecast has the storm passing through the Bahamas and gradually turning east, away from the US coastline.

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