Three die in Haiti as storm roars on
Tropical Storm Isaac swept across southern Haiti yesterday, causing flooding and at least three deaths in the poor Caribbean island nation still struggling to recover from a 2010 earthquake.
The storm was heading toward eastern Cuba and forecasters said it poses a threat to Florida tomorrow and Tuesday, just as the Republican Party gathers for its national convention in Tampa.
The US National Hurricane Centre in Miami said a hurricane warning was in effect for the Florida Keys and west coast from Bonita Beach south to Florida Bay.
In Haiti a woman and a child died in the town of Souvenance while a ten-year-old girl died in Thomazeau when a wall collapsed, said Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste, director of Haiti’s Civil Protection Office. She said up to 5,000 people were evacuated because of flooding.
In the shanty town of Cité Soleil, north of capital Port-au-Prince, about 300 homes were left sitting in 3ft of water with their roofs torn off. “From last night, we’re in misery,” said Cité Soleil resident Jean-Gymar Joseph. “All our children are sleeping in mud in the rain.”
More than 50 tents in a quake settlement collapsed, forcing people to scramble through the mud to try to save their belongings.
Forecasters said Isaac could dump up to 20 inches of rain on Haiti and neighbouring Dominican Republic, on top of a tidal surge of three feet.
Isaac was centred about 95 miles east-south-east of the US detention camp of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, early yesterday with winds around 60mph. It was moving northwest at 14mph. Tropical force winds extended nearly 200 miles from the storm’s centre.
Forecasters said Isaac was likely to march up the Gulf of Mexico, offshore of Florida’s west coast, as a hurricane tomorrow, just as the Republican Convention is scheduled to start. Tampa is within the storm’s possible strike zone. It is expected to hit Florida on Tuesday or early Wednesday.
Cuba has declared a state of alert for six eastern provinces. Baracoa on the northern coast reported that high seas began topping its seawall on Friday.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: West