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. Death toll from Tropical Storm Olga rises to at least 40

This image obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows Tropical Storm Olga as it approached the Dominican Republic on the 12th December 2007 at 14h45 GMT. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Santo Domingo (AFP) Dec 14, 2007
The death toll from Tropical Storm Olga's Caribbean rampage rose to at least 40 people Friday, with all but three victims reported from the Dominican Republic.

Authorities said 12 Haitian immigrants in the northeastern Dominican city of Castanuelas were among those killed by the storm. Rescuers said they received reports of further deaths in the area but were not immediately able to verify them.

Most of the victims drowned in the floodwaters of the Yaque del Norte. As waters in a reservoir rose to dangerous levels, authorities opened the floodgates of a dam, causing major inundation along the banks of the already swollen river.

The storm swirled over the island at the beginning of the week. On Friday, 189 communities remained cut off by floods, officials said.

Almost 10,000 homes were damaged, including 291 that were completely destroyed.

Tropical Storm Olga was also blamed for two deaths in Haiti, which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, and one fatality in Puerto Rico.

The Dominican Republic had already been hit hard by Tropical Storm Noel, which slammed the country in late October, killing at least 85 people.

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Malaysian flood death toll rises, thousands more evacuated
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) Dec 11, 2007
The death toll from widespread floods in Malaysia has risen to six and the number of people evacuated to relief centres increased sharply as heavy rains continued to fall, officials and reports said Tuesday.

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