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Hurricane Irma: Haiti and Dominican Republic face clean up following floods up to a metre high

8th Sep 2017

Hurricane Irma caused widespread damage overnight in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Oxfam is assessing the needs of the most vulnerable people in the heaviest-hit areas, mainly in the north of the countries.

Oxfam teams reported heavy rain and flooding in Ouanaminthe district and in Fort Liberte city at the Dominican Republic border, and a broken bridge at the Massacre River linking the two countries. Thousands of houses have been damaged in the Dominican Republic and people displaced. 

Oxfam's Tania Escamilla in Haiti's second city, Cap Haitien said: "Our main concern remains how much damage Irma's rains and flooding caused to sanitation and water infrastructure. We've heard of flooding up to a meter high in poor neighbourhoods in Haiti.

"Many people didn't evacuate their homes, so there is still a risk from the rain. There is a lot of waste and rubbish in the flooded streets in Cap Haitien, which heightens the risk of cholera and other diseases." 

Oxfam has stocks prepared for cholera prevention in Cap Haitien, Ouanaminthe and Gonaive in the north of Haiti.

Oxfam is continuing to monitor the progress of Hurricane Jose following behind, which threatens more damage including to islands already wrecked by Irma. A third hurricane - Katia - is forming to threaten Veracruz in Mexico. Oxfam is prepared to respond with essential supplies.

Latin America and the Caribbean are highly vulnerable to multiple recurrent hazards, aggravated by climate change, and people are more vulnerable because of poverty and inequality.

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Notes to Editors

For interviews with Tania Escamillia in Haiti and Oxfam spokespeople in the Dominican Republic and Cuba please contact Emma Fabian, Senior PR Press Officer Oxfam GB, +44 (0)7825 503 274

For updates please follow @oxfamgbpress