The north of the country was the hardest hit, with water filling the historic center of the city of Cap-Haitien.
Two days of heavy rain and subsequent flooding have killed at least three people in Haiti, according to the head of the country’s civil protection authority.
The death toll was reported on Tuesday, hours after rescuers began evacuating people from high-risk areas, where thousands of homes were flooded and some 2,500 families were displaced.
The north of the country was the hardest hit, with water filling the historic center of the city of Cap-Haitien and high winds knocking down trees. Authorities said at least 20 districts across Haiti have been affected by the weather.
“We have 3 dead in the (North West Department) and one person missing,” Civil Protection Director Jerry Chandler told Reuters news agency in a text message.
The rains are the most recent natural disaster to hit Caribbean countries, where the death toll is often high due to poor housing and lack of infrastructure. The disasters have compounded the dire state of the country’s economy, with high rates of crime and insecurity compounded by a political crisis following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July 2021.
Authorities said the storm affected areas still trying to recover from a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the country in August, killing more than 2,000 people.
The rains also flooded a power station and caused a bridge to collapse, leaving a community isolated.
In one town, people waded through waist-deep water as they tried to save a motorcycle and other belongings, the Associated Press reported.
Some families grabbed each other’s hands as they battled floodwaters while balancing large bags of clothes and other items on their heads.
Poorly constructed housing and a lack of infrastructure have generally made the fallout from natural disasters particularly severe in Haiti. In addition, flood-prone areas are frequently home to poor and densely populated communities.
In 2010, an estimated 316,000 people were killed in a massive earthquake near the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
Haiti is already in crisis, suffering political divisions after the assassination of Moise, with increasing gang violence and kidnappings and deepening poverty.