Tornado in Haiti leaves more than 300 families homeless

By Thomson Reuters May 23, 2024 | 6:47 AM

(Reuters) – A tornado in northwest Haiti has injured at least 50 people, destroyed 200 houses and left more than 300 families homeless, according to the United Nations.

Haitian weather authorities have warned of flooding and landslides after Tuesday’s storm on the Caribbean nation that is one of the world’s poorest and is prone to natural disasters.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which coordinates assistance, said in a statement on Wednesday that the local Red Cross and civil protection agency were providing aid and assessing damages at the worst-hit area of Bassin Bleu, around 15 miles (25 km) south of Port-de-Paix.

More than 360,000 people are already internally displaced in Haiti, according to U.N. estimates, mostly from the capital Port-au-Prince due to a conflict with armed gangs who have taken over most of the city.

Many are staying in makeshift camps or have traveled south.

A deployment of Kenyan police officers to lead an international anti-gang force intended to help national police restore security was expected to land this week, but sources told Reuters this has been delayed.

With the onset of the rainy season, the U.N. has warned of growing risks from waterborne diseases such as cholera, particularly for people who are displaced.

(Reporting by Sarah Morland; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)