At least nine people have been killed, and two others are missing in weather-related incidents as Tropical Storm Laura passed through the country on Sunday, August 23. Five fatalities occurred in Port-au-Prince, where floodwaters cut off roads with damage and power outages reported in the Pétionville area. The four other deaths occurred in Sud-Est department. Evacuation operations are ongoing in communities located along the Artibonite River, and a number of major travel routes across the country have been rendered impassable by riverine flooding. Although the government has discontinued all tropical storm warnings, heavy rain continues to affect the country.
Tropical Storm Laura moved away from Hispaniola on Sunday, August 23, and is positioned to the south of Guantanamo (Cuba) as it moves in a northwest direction. Laura is currently sustaining winds of 104kph (65mph) and is expected to bring tropical storm conditions, including heavy rainfall, across Cuba on Sunday as it moves towards the Gulf of Mexico.
Haiti is vulnerable to hurricanes, with the season typically running from June to November. The island of Hispaniola itself lies in the heart of the Caribbean hurricane belt, and the knock-on effects of hurricanes include flooding and landslides. In October 2016, the passage of Hurricane Matthew over the country's southern peninsula led to catastrophic flooding and wind damage there, reportedly resulting in more than 1,000 deaths.
Those in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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