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Earthquake-Struck Haiti is Lashed by Heavy Rains After Storm Hits

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After Tropical Storm Grace made its way across Haiti, which was already reeling from a devastating earthquake, videos circulating on social networks on Tuesday showed heavy rains pummeling towns and villages, bringing the risk of flash floods and landslides.

In one video, a man could be seen making his way through muddy water that had flooded a street up to his waist on Monday, when the storm struck. Another video showed floodwaters rushing across a street and inundating nearby homes.

“It’s totally turned into a river,” a man is heard saying in the video, which appeared to have been shot in the city of Jacmel, on Haiti’s southern coast.

Heavy rains also pelted people who had huddled in fields, many of them forced to leave homes damaged in the 7.2-magnitude earthquake, and others who had sought safety outdoors because of a fear of aftershocks that could cause further collapses.

One video posted on Monday showed dozens of people trying to take shelter under plastic tarpaulins provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development, which has sent help to Haiti, as they were hit by gusts of wind that had blown down their campsite.

In a message posted on Twitter on Monday night, the civil protection agency of Haiti said that heavy rainfall in the southern region was making the situation for displaced people even more challenging and called on residents whose homes had not been affected to help shelter them.

Grace hit Haiti as a tropical depression on Monday night but was later upgraded to a tropical storm. Coming after the earthquake on Saturday, the tempest has compounded the problems already facing the impoverished nation, which was still in the throes of a political crisis prompted by the assassination of its president, Jovenel Moïse, last month.

Investigations into the killing of Mr. Moïse — by assailants who stormed his residence near the capital, Port-au-Prince — have stalled. The newly installed government is vulnerable, the result of a fragile compromise between politicians who jockeyed for power for days after the killing.

As Grace made landfall in Haiti, the authorities were still rushing to bring aid to the country’s southwest, which was devastated in the deadly earthquake just two days earlier.

The quake killed more than 1,400 people and injured nearly 7,000 others — a toll that is expected to rise. Thousands of homes have been destroyed, as well as dozens of schools, churches and health centers, according to reports by local authorities.

Memories of the crippling 2010 earthquake — and the shambolic humanitarian response that followed — are still vivid in the minds of Haitians, and the government has promised a more effective reaction this time. But the shipping of aid to the southwest has been hampered by logistical issues and medical facilities are lacking in that part of the country.

Paul Farmer, a physician and co-founder of the relief agency Partners in Health, which oversees several hospitals in Haiti, said that the country had established new emergency medical services in the intervening years, largely improving its ability to respond to an earthquake.

“This time around,” he said, “the idea is: How can we coordinate the response so that it doesn’t become a burden for the Haitians?”



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