At least five people were killed and three are missing in Haiti after a torrential downpour buffeted the capital of Port-au-Prince, the country’s civil protection agency said Wednesday.
Three people were found dead in the city’s impoverished Cite Soleil neighborhood, while two others were killed elsewhere in Port-au-Prince.
In the busy hillside neighborhood of Petionville, three people went missing and five were seriously injured when a wall collapsed under the weight of the downpour.
On Wednesday, heavy equipment was rolled out across the capital to clear mud and debris, while officials warned residents in flood-prone areas to remain on alert.
“There are unstable weather conditions prevailing in the Caribbean basin, and rain and thunderstorm activity could hit the country over the next two days,” Haiti’s civil protection agency said.
Heavy rain causes unusual damage in Haiti’s main cities due to a lack of proper drainage infrastructure.
Some of the country’s poorest residents also build flimsy homes along canals and gullies that easily become clogged with waste when it rains.
Every year Haiti has to prepare for potentially catastrophic storms during the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30. However due to a complete lack of urban planning, even heavy rain is enough to threaten lives across the country.