PORT-AU-PRINCE – The International Red Cross launched an appeal for almost $1 million to support relief efforts in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
- INDEPTH: Forces of Nature
Close to 1,000 people have been confirmed dead in the two countries following flash floods brought on by torrential rains. Officials fear the death toll could rise to 2,000.
An aerial view of Mapou, Haiti following storms this week. (AP photo)
The Red Cross estimates that as many as 10,000 people urgently need food, drinking water and basic relief items.
Canadian and U.S. troops have been rushing emergency supplies to the worst-hit areas such as the Haitian town of Mapou.
- FROM MAY 25, 2004: Death toll raised in Dominican Republic, Haiti flooding
Officials have said as many as 1,000 people may have been killed in the southern town, and about 10,000 stranded. Mud and landslides have washed out roads, preventing most rescuers from getting in.
A Canadian helicopter made a dramatic rescue in Mapou, airlifting three members of a family who were stranded on top of their house. They had escaped by cutting a hole through the metal roof.
The father, mother and 14-year-old son survived, but four younger children did not.
Rescuers are expected to bring in more boats Friday to try to reach villages. Officials are concerned if they don’t retreive the dead bodies in time, they will contaminate the water supply.
Relief workers and trying to get food, bottled water and chlorine tablets to people as well as plastic sheeting for shelter as rain continues to fall. They are worried people will try to seek shelter in areas that are still dangerous.
In what could add to the disaster, more rain is expected in the coming days for the southern border region between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
The Canadian International Development Agency said it would contribute $100,000 to the Red Cross relief effort.