5 Nov 2010

Tropical storm heads for Haiti

6:47 am on 5 November 2010

A powerful storm that killed at least 14 people on the Caribbean island of St Lucia is heading towards Haiti, where thousands are still living in camps after January's earthquake.

The St Lucia government has declared a state of emergency and appealed for international assistance.

Hurricane Tomas, which struck at the weekend, also battered the island of St Vincent.

Tomas, now a tropical storm, is expected to dump as much as 38cm of rain over Haiti and the neighbouring Dominican Republic, with more heavy rain over Jamaica and Cuba, the BBC reports.

Some camps in Haiti are being evacuated and officials have told those living in tents to move to stronger shelter.

Health workers fear heavy rain will exacerbate Haiti's cholera epidemic.

The United Nations says relief workers in Haiti are trying to gather emergency shelter, water and sanitation supplies before the storm hits.