5 Dead, 19 Missing After Flooding Rains Strike Haiti; Other Caribbean Nations Hit Too

Pam Wright
Published: May 19, 2017

Men walk holding a motorcycle in a partially flooded street by the rains during this afternoon, in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, on May 2, 2017.
(Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images)

Heavy rains and flooding have left five people dead and at least 19 missing in Haiti, the country's Department of Civil Protection said Thursday.

A 17-year-old girl and a 24-year-old woman died in Port-de Paix in northwest Haiti after attempting to cross raging waters, according to Haiti Libre. A 49-year-old man also died under the same conditions in Saint-Louis du Nord.

In Beaumont, a woman was killed when she tried to cross a river and a child died in Grande-Anse when his parents tried to evacuate their home to take refuge with a neighbor.

Anywhere from 3 to 12 inches of rainfall occurred in southwestern Haiti on Wednesday, says weather.com meteorologist Linda Lam. This comes on the heels of several days of heavy rainfall.

The torrential rain caused streams, rivers and ravines to overflow, damaging infrastructure.

(MORE: Hurricane Matthew Leaves 'Catastrophic' Devastation in Haiti)

The coastal Grande-Anse region of southern Haiti was hardest hit, with more than 300 people seeking shelter from the rising waters. Nineteen fishermen from two towns in the area are reported missing. 

Haiti has been grappling with a heavy rainy season this year, particularly so in its vulnerability after the devastation from Category-4 Hurricane Matthew, which tore into the country last October before setting its sights on the U.S. East Coast.

Other Caribbean nations are suffering similar conditions, including the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, where flooding has caused damage to bridges, closed roads and triggered landslides. 

According to The Watchers, Jamaica's Rio Minho overflowed its banks in several sections of northern Clarendon, causing significant damage in several communities. 

Authorities have issued alerts warning of possible outbreaks of gastroenteritis and leptospirosis.

MORE: Aerials of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti


The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

Featured Blogs

Meteorology of Saturday's Colombian Flood Disaster That Killed 254

By Dr. Jeff Masters
April 3, 2017

At least 254 people were killed in the in the city of Mocoa (population 40,000) in southwest Colombia near the border of Ecuador early Saturday, when torrential rains triggered a debris flow on a nearby mountain that surged into the town as a huge wall of water carrying tons of mud and debris. The disaster is the fourth deadliest weather-related disaster in Colombia’s recorded history.

Iconic American Destination Virtually Isolated for Rest of Year

By Christopher C. Burt
March 24, 2017

Half of the village of Big Sur, on the coast of central California, has lost its only access to the north following the demolition of the flood-damaged Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge along State Route 1 (also Rt. 1 or SR 1) on March 19. Although Rt. 1 to the south of Big Sur has reopened to traffic (after mud and rock slides were cleared) it is a long 70-mile journey along the windy but spectacular highway to Cambria, the next town of any significance where supplies can be had. CalTrans (California Department of Transportation) estimates it will take 6-9 months to rebuild a new bridge over the canyon.

An extraordinary meteorological event; was one of its results a 1000-year flood?

By Stu Ostro
October 5, 2015

The confluence of meteorological ingredients the first weekend in October 2015 resulted in an extraordinary weather event with severe impacts. Was one of them a 1000-year flood?

Why the Arrest of a Science-Loving 14-year-old Matters

By Shaun Tanner
September 16, 2015

By now, many of you have heard or read about the arrest of Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old high school student from Irving, Texas. Ahmed was arrested because school officials called the police after he showed one of his teachers his homemade clock. Mistaken for a bomb, Ahmed was taken into custody, interrogated, shamed, suspended (still on suspension today, Wednesday), and reprimanded. All of this after it has been found that the "device" he brought to school was indeed, a homemade clock.