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Dead and missing after floods in Haiti


At least 15 people have died in Haiti as a result of severe flooding and landslides. Another eight are missing. The country is already suffering from hunger and violence.

By Christina Fee Moebus, rbb

A man watches helplessly as all his belongings float away. He is standing with his family on the roof of his house – the only way not to be swept away by the mud-brown masses of water. A total of almost 13,400 people had to leave their homes. Pictures on social media document the floods. Cars and facades drift away as if they were as light as a rubber dinghy.

The weekend’s heavy rain plunged Haiti into another crisis. At least 15 people were killed as a result of flooding and landslides, and another eight were missing, the country’s civil defense agency said.

The capital Port-au-Prince is also affected by the floods and landslides. A reporter reports on a flooded field in the port city of Leogane, some 50 kilometers from the capital. “We want to support people,” says the journalist. “But we have no idea how to get to the other side. We don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Government promises help

More than 1200 houses were flooded. After the catastrophe, their owners are left without their own home – and without electricity. It’s especially dangerous at night.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry said he was working with local authorities and international organizations to provide emergency relief to those affected. However, Haiti has a barely functioning infrastructure to be able to react quickly.

Where government aid does not arrive, people try to support each other. Videos online show a man fighting the floods. He’s holding a baby in his arms and he’s standing in water up to his waist. The other flood-affected spur him on from the adjacent roofs – in the end he manages to save himself and the child from the water.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for international action.

Hurricane season still lasts for months

Fields in central Haiti were also destroyed in the flood disaster – and many people in the country are already suffering from hunger. According to the United Nations World Food Program, almost half of the Haitian population has difficulties feeding themselves. Then there are the criminal gangs. They largely control the country. In some cases, the state only exists on paper.

The region’s hurricane season just started this month. It goes until November. However, the crisis in Haiti will continue for an indefinite period.