Tropical Storm Isaac whirled across Haiti on Saturday, delivering strong winds and rain that caused flooding, mudslides and several deaths, according to preliminary reports, but not the kind of destruction feared on the earthquake-battered island.
News radio and social media users reported streets flooding in the capital, Port-au-Prince, some mudslides in rural areas, downed trees and power lines, and shredded tents that left people miserably soaked in the camps that house some 400,000 survivors of the January 2010 earthquake.
At least three people were reported killed by midday Saturday. A woman and a child died in the town of Souvenance, and a 10-year-old girl died in Thomazeau, The Associated Press reported.
The brunt of the storm passed across Haiti’s southern peninsula, its 60-mile-an-hour winds blowing the roofs off many houses in Jacmel, a tourist resort on the south coast, residents said.
Local radio reports indicated that 5,000 people had been evacuated in the provinces and more than 3,000 around the capital to government buildings, schools and other temporary shelters, though many people mistrusted the plans and stayed behind in the camps.
The tropical storm was skirting southeast Cuba on Saturday, heading toward the Florida Keys. National Hurricane Center forecasts said it could strengthen into a hurricane before hitting the Keys on Sunday.Mike Coston at Avian Flu Diary has a very timely post on Isaac and south Florida.