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Heavy rains kill 9 across Caribbean islands

26 December 2013 21:23

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At least nine people have lost their lives and five have been reported missing after heavy rains caused flash floods and landslides across a few Caribbean island states, officials say.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves’ cousin and an 18-year-old college student were among the 18 people who died on the island nation, with five others injured and five reported missing, the government’s National Emergency Management Organization said Wednesday.

Authorities said a family of five was also killed when a house was swept into their home in the heavily hit region of North Leeward in northwestern part of the Caribbean islands.

A total of nine houses had been destroyed and 15 others were damaged, while several communities remained isolated due to damaged bridges and blocked roads, the emergency office added.

Meanwhile, police on the nearby island country of St. Lucia said Tuesday that a man died after a wall fell on him following heavy rainfall.

On the nearby island nation of Dominica, dozens of homes and at least two hotels were evacuated due to the threat of landslides.

Tropical storms and hurricanes are common occurrences in the Caribbean Sea and across eastern parts of the Americas.

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy pummeled the United States and Bahamas in the Atlantic Ocean, killing over 40 in the US and 21 in Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica.

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