PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - A storm with high winds killed five people, including two children, as it tore through thousands of tents housing people left homeless by Haiti’s massive January 12 earthquake, a senior official said on Saturday.
The tornado-like storm on Friday afternoon toppled or shredded 5,878 of the tents and tarpaulins in homeless camps and makeshift shelters across the chaotic capital Port-au-Prince, Haitian Civil Protection Director Alta Jean-Baptiste told Reuters.
The fast-passing storm toppled numerous trees and power poles. Jean-Baptiste said the five people killed by debris included a girl and a boy.
At least 50 people were injured, she said.
Eight months after the magnitude 7 quake that shattered large parts of Port-au-Prince, killing up to 300,000 people, the international aid community has faced criticism that efforts to clear rubble and relocate survivors from makeshift camps have been slow to materialize.
More than 1 million people left homeless by one of the world’s worst disasters are still living in the camps and critics say reconstruction efforts have barely gotten under way.
Friday’s storm did not appear to be directly related to this year’s highly active Atlantic hurricane season or Tropical Storm Matthew, which hit Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast on Friday afternoon.
But weather across the Caribbean is typically unsettled this time of year as cold high pressure systems begin coming down from Canada and the U.S. mainland.
Editing by Bill Trott