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Heavy rain leaves 14 dead in Caribbean, Central America

world Updated: Jun 02, 2007 09:30 IST

IANS
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Heavy rain in Central America and the Caribbean led to the deaths of at least 14 people as tropical storm Barbara continued to make up the Pacific coast.

Authorities in the Dominican Republic said that floods had caused the deaths of eight people, while at least 8,000 more had to be evacuated from their homes on Friday.

In El Salvador, four people died as a result of landslides. Another two people were killed in flooding Friday night as the storm reached Cuba.

According to meteorologists, the Pacific tropical storm Barbara was moving slowly eastward towards Mexico's southern coast. In the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, authorities warned the population of probable floods and landslides.

Friday marks the beginning of the Atlantic and Pacific hurricane season.

Barbara, currently a storm with wind speeds of 65 km an hour, is set to hit Mexico's mainland on Saturday, meteorologists said.

Meanwhile, tropical storm Barry - the first named Atlantic storm of the season, was gathering strength in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday. The storm was set to hit Florida on Saturday, according to the hurricane centre in Miami.

Hurricanes are particularly dangerous in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, because the heavy rains they bring often trigger landslides and floods. Many homes, particularly in poorer areas, stand on hillsides that are particularly vulnerable.

In the autumn of 2005, several thousand people died in the region as a consequence of the tropical storm Stan.

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