Storms Marco and Laura plough through Caribbean, killing 12

Storms Marco and Laura plough through Caribbean, killing 12

Locals stand on the banks of the Tet Dlo River during the passing of Tropical Storm Laura in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Dieu Nalio Chery / Associated Press)

By BBC

At least 12 people have been killed as two storms tore through the Caribbean on Sunday.

Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura brought high winds and rough seas leaving at least nine people dead in Haiti and another three in the Dominican Republic.

Heavy rains have also battered Cuba and the US territory of Puerto Rico.

Marco is expected to make landfall in the US state of Louisiana on Monday, with Laura hitting Texas by Thursday.

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that Laura was expected to strengthen into a hurricane by early Tuesday.

Forecasters also say that Laura may swing east towards Louisiana, and it could be the first time in recorded history that the state has been hit by two back-to-back hurricanes.

The positions for Marco and Laura are at 0300 GMT Monday. Source: National Hurricane Centre

What’s known about the victims?

Nine people were killed in Haiti. Two more, a mother and her child, are missing after being swept away by floodwaters, according to Civil Protection Director Jerry Chandler.

Local media say the missing woman works as a pediatrician at a hospital in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Among those killed is a 10-year-old girl who was hit by a falling branch in Anse-Γ -Pitres, on Haiti’s southern coast near the border with the Dominican Republic.

A woman died in floodwaters in Jacmel, also on the southern coast, while a man and two more women died in and around Port-au-Prince.

Footage shared on social media showed Haitians trying to get to safety as the floodwaters were rising quickly.

 


No details of the other Haitian victims have so far been released.

In neighbouring Dominican Republic, a 37-year-old woman and her nine-year-old son died when a wall in their home west of the capital, Santo Domingo, collapsed during heavy rains.

A 22-year-old man died when his home collapsed under the weight of a falling tree.

In total, 200 homes were damaged in the Dominican Republic and 1,000 people had to be evacuated.

Meanwhile in Cuba, many residents in the country’s eastern regions have been evacuated and housed in shelters or safer buildings on higher ground.

Where are the storms headed?

Marco strengthened to a hurricane on Sunday, with sustained winds of up to 75mph (120km/h), and is moving north between Cuba and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Laura is predicted to head northwest towards Houston, America’s fourth-largest city.

The US National Hurricane Centre has warned that back-to-back hurricanes arriving in the US within days of one another could result in prolonged periods of hazardous weather.

The US Coast Guard has issued a warning for the Port of New Orleans and called on ships to make plans to evacuate some areas.

US President Donald Trump has issued a disaster declaration for Louisiana, ordering federal assistance to coordinate relief efforts. On Saturday, a similar declaration was made for Puerto Rico.

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