Tropical storm Jeanne kills over 600 in Haiti

The death toll from &to=' target=_blank>Tropical Storm Jeanne rose to 573 in Haiti last night as search crews recovered dozens of bodies carried away by flooding or buried by mud, officials said.

Morgues in the city of Gonaives held at least 500 victims, according to Touissant Kong- Doudou, a spokesman for the United Nations mission in Haiti. Fifty-six bodies were found in northern Port-de- Paix and 17 more were located elsewhere on the island.

&to=' target=_blank>The water is high. As it goes down, we expect to find more bodies," Kongo-Doudou said, reports the Newsday.

According to the Scotsman, Tropical Storm Jeanne entered the Caribbean last week, killing seven people in the US territory of Puerto Rico before heading to the Dominican Republic, where it killed at least 18.

The toll is highest in Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world where deforestation has made even light rain deadly. More than 90 percent of Haiti’s trees have been chopped down, mostly to make charcoal. Without roots and foliage, there is nothing to hold water back from low-lying towns.

The world’s first black republic and the only one to launch a successful rebellion against slavery, Haiti marked 200 years of independence amid political turmoil in January. A month later, a three-month rebellion ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and brought a US-led military force. In May, disaster struck again with floods that killed more than 3,000 people on the Haitian-Dominican border on the island of Hispaniola.

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