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Hurricane Irene Rains Lash Northern Haiti, UN Reports

New York, Aug 24 2011 11:10AM
Hurricane Irene has unleashed heavy rains across northern Haiti, causing some flooding and agricultural damage, United Nations officials report, adding that over 160 evacuation sites have been opened in case of need and pre-positioned aid supplies mobilized.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), citing local officials, has no reports of major losses or damage from Irene.

Only one evacuation site has been occupied so far, by 500 people, and some roads have been cut by landslides, according to the UN, which had put some of its nearly 12,000 peacekeepers on emergency standby in case they should be needed for rescue operations.

The impoverished Caribbean country is still struggling to recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people and displaced 2.3 million others, and Hurricane Tomas last November, which caused widespread flooding, unleashing a cholera epidemic that killed hundreds and infected some 20,000 people.

The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), which comprises 8,500 troops and 3,000 police, has been in the country since mid-2004 after then president Jean-Bertrand Aristide went into exile amid violent unrest.


ENDS

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