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Tropical Storm Hanna kills 61 in Haiti


Mexico City : Tropical Storm Hanna pounded the north coast of Haiti Wednesday, leaving at least 61 people dead, officials reported.

In the flooded city of Gonaives, 27 people died in the storm, the Haitian civil defence said as Hanna moved toward southeast Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

In the past three weeks, Haiti has also been battered by Hurricanes Fay and Gustav, which left more than 160 dead.

The UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti carried out helicopter rescues in Gonaives, saving many lives, as the water levels were as high as three metres in some areas.

Officials said thousands of people were left homeless or with damaged dwellings after the storm.

Just behind Hanna, Hurricane Ike was gaining strength as it moved toward the Caribbean over the Atlantic and was upgraded to a category 4 storm on a scale on which 5 is the strongest. It had sustained winds of 215 km per hour, making it an “extremely dangerous” storm, the US National Hurricane Center said.