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Storm: 600 dead in Haiti & Dominican Republic

At least 600 dead in Haiti and Dominican Republic following tropical storm - UN

21 September 2004 – More than 600 people are dead and at least 1,000 others missing after Tropical Storm Jeanne tore through northern Haiti and the Dominican Republic at the weekend, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) reported today as emergency relief operations continued in the neighbouring Caribbean nations.

MINUSTAH said that in the northern Haitian city of Gonaïves, the country's third largest, the main hospital had been flooded and medical supplies were limited. A medical team attached to the Mission's Argentinean peacekeepers was providing much of the care.

Much of the area around Gonaïves - which has about 100,000 inhabitants - was covered by mud because of the heavy rains and landslides in the wake of Tropical Storm Jeanne, leading to a shortage of drinking water.

Shelters have been set up to provide temporary housing for thousands of survivors, according to MINUSTAH, with the city's cathedral now home to a group of some 600 people.

An assessment mission by UN officials to Port-de-Paix, on Haiti's north coast, found that 30 per cent of that city was under water, while a separate inspection was taking place in Isle de la Tortue.

The UN has deployed a Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) Team to the Dominican Republic, where 11 people have been reported killed and more than 37,000 people have had to leave their homes because of the floods.

In the General Assembly today, Haiti's interim President Boniface Alexander appealed urgently "for the solidarity of the international community" to support local authorities as they try to assist the victims of Tropical Storm Jeanne.

The Dominican Republic's Foreign Affairs Minister Carlos Morales Troncoso also appealed for international cooperation as it mounts relief efforts, adding that the storm had caused devastating floods and damage to infrastructure in his country.

General Assembly President Jean Ping, speaking on behalf of its members, offered his sympathy to the governments and peoples of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as well as to those from other Caribbean countries which have suffered during the recent wave of deadly hurricanes in the region.

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