SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

October 27, 2012

Sandy gone, Caribbean mourns 58 dead, cleans up

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The Caribbean death toll from Hurricane Sandy rose again sharply on Saturday, even as the storm swirled away toward the U.S. East Coast. Officials said the hurricane system has cost at least 58 lives in addition to destroying or badly damaging thousands of homes.

While Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas took direct hits from the storm, the majority of deaths and most extensive damage was in impoverished Haiti, where it has rained almost non-stop since Tuesday.

The official death toll in Haiti stood at 44 Saturday, but authorities said that could still rise. The country's ramshackle housing and denuded hillsides are especially vulnerable to flooding when rains come.

"This is a disaster of major proportions," Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe told The Associated Press. "The whole south is under water."

He said the death toll jumped on Saturday because it was the first day that authorities were able to go out and assess the damage, which he estimated was in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the bulk of it in lost crops.

Nineteen people are reported injured and another 12 are missing, according to Haiti's Civil Protection Office.

One of the remaining threats was a still-rising muddy river in the northern part of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

"If the river busts its banks, it's going to create a lot of problems. It might kill a lot of people," said 51-year-old Seroine Pierre. "If death comes, we'll accept it. We're suffering, we're hungry, and we're just going to die hungry."

Officials reported flooding across Haiti, where 370,000 people are still living in flimsy shelters as a result of the devastating 2010 earthquake. Nearly 17,800 people had to move to 131 temporary shelters, the Civil Protection Office said.

Among those hoping for a dry place to stay was 35-year-old Iliodor Derisma in Port-au-Prince, who said the storm had caused a lot of anguish.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • Salem extends principal search SALEM -- Superintendent Stephen Russell has extended the search for three new principals, arguably the most important personnel decisions he will make in his three years as head of the public schools. Russell is about to hire principals to guide turn

    April 24, 2014

  • 140423_SN_KYU_CROSSWALK A safer place to cross

    PEABODY -- A little more than a year after tragedy struck, the new pedestrian traffic signal in front of St. Adelaide's Parish is installed and operational. "My dad worked his whole life in the service of his community, church and country, and it giv

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo 5 Stories

  • MBTA proposes commuter-rail fee increase SALEM -- The train to Boston is about to get more expensive. Across-the-board fare increases recently proposed by the MBTA would raise the price of single trips on the commuter rail by 25 to 50 cents and the cost of monthly passes from between $10 fo

    April 24, 2014

  • Unrepentant serial drunken driver gets 31/2 to 5 years PEABODY -- Despite what a judge and prosecutor called an attempt to "hijack" the proceedings in his case, a serial drunken driver from Peabody was sentenced to state prison yesterday. Right up to the end, Peter Hurley, 53, was adamant that he'd done

    April 24, 2014

  • pipes1 Sewerage repair delay sparks worry MARBLEHEAD -- Serious concerns are building over delays in the repair of a sewer pipe connecting Marblehead to the South Essex Sewerage District in Salem. The need for replacing the two pipes became apparent in March 2013, when one began to leak int

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos