Heavy rain hits Haiti’s quake-ravaged capital

The first heavy rain — since the massive earthquake — briefly doused Haiti’s capital on Thursday night as relief officials changed tack on dealing with the homeless, deemphasizing plans to build big camps outside Port-au-Prince.

Instead, they want the hundreds of thousands of refugees in this city — where barren hillsides and weakened buildings threaten to give way — to pack up their tents and tarps and return to destroyed neighbourhoods.

People dashed for shelter down streets streaming with runoff from the driving tropical rain. The 20-minute downpour swept trash along roadside gutters, clogging drains and turning depressions into ponds.

Some women took advantage of the downpour to take a shower — there are no bathing facilities in overcrowded tent camps that officials want to move people out of.

With the official rainy season still a month away, forecasters warn that a potential weekend storm, the first since the Jan. 12 quake, could bring floods and mudslides to a population in a perilous state. Many dwellings are severely damaged or clinging to the sides of hillsides.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 8:39:11 PM |

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