Thousands of Haiti Homes Flooded, Rivers Swell Amid Heavy Rains

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Jan 31 (Reuters) – Thousands of homes were flooded and some 2,500 families displaced in Haiti as torrential rain caused rivers to burst their banks, and rescue teams have begun evacuating people in high-risk zones, the civil protection authority said on Monday.

Nearly 36 hours of rain caused flooding, primarily in the north of the Caribbean country, with water filling the historic center of the city of Cap-Haitien, and heavy winds downing trees, the agency said.

“Residents of areas that are prone to flooding and exposed to wind (should) take the necessary precautions to protect themselves,” the agency wrote in a statement. “Above all, do not cross flooded rivers under any circumstances.”

The flooding has already affected the town Anse à Veau, which was near the epicenter of an earthquake last week that killed two people but caused limited overall damage, it said.

Haiti is prone to natural disasters, typically due to the poor state of the housing and flood-prone areas are often home to poor and densely populated communities.

Some 300,000 people were killed in a massive 2010 earthquake and another 2,000 died last year in a quake on the country’s southern peninsula.

Reporting by Brian Ellsworth in Miami and Gessika Thomas in Port-au-Prince; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore
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