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Port-Au-Prince (AFP) Nov 9, 2012
Flood waters inundated impoverished areas of Cap Haitien, Haiti's second largest city, killing as many as 16 people, including three children, city officials said Friday.
"The city has been struck by disaster. There are many dead and major damage. All the populous areas are flooded," Cap Haitien Mayor Wilborde Beon told AFP by telephone.
Beon said many people had to be rescued and given shelter from the high waters, which swept through the northern city Thursday night amid heavy rains in the region.
"The entrance to the city is completely flooded, all the rivers and ravines are swollen," he said, appealing for aid and support.
Preliminary estimates put the number of dead at 16, most of them when their homes collapsed in the flooding and heavy rains, the city's police chief, Kenel Pierre, told AFP.
"Haitian police patrols found a number of bodies in the streets. We have seen the bodies of three children aged two or three," Pierre said.
Four members of a family of eight were found dead Friday morning by rescue workers. Three children were unaccounted for and their father was in the hospital, officials said.
"There are effectively many victims that we have not been able to confirm because it is difficult to move around," Beon said.
The latest disaster to befall Haiti, which was devastated by a 2010 earthquake that killed some 200,000 people, comes just two weeks after it was hit by Hurricane Sandy, which claimed the lives of at least 54 people.
"We ask the private sector to help us because it continues to rain," said Beon. "All other sectors of the state have been mobilized."
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