Haiti hurricane deaths rise, bringing Caribbean toll to 57
The death toll in the Caribbean from Hurricane Sandy rose to 57 with the largest number of victims coming from Haiti, DPA reported.
The Directorate of Civil Protection raised Haiti's toll to 44 while 12 people were missing, the news agency Haiti Press Network reported.
Most of the victims died in landslides and flooding from a category 2 storm that, although it did not directly hit Haiti, slowed to a crawl, dumping four days of rain on a country vulnerable to mudslides because of deforestation.
Sandy killed 11 people and destroyed thousands of homes in Cuba. The remaining deaths from Sandy were reported in Jamaica.
The now-category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometres per hour was barrelling along the US East Coast, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said.
It was located off the state of North Carolina Saturday night and moving north-east, but the centre forecast Sandy to change its track late Sunday and Monday and veer into the heavily populated mid-Atlantic and north-eastern states.
Residents in those areas were stocking up on necessities and sandbags as meteorologists warned that Sandy could collide with a cold front, which could feed the hurricane and spawn a superstorm that could sit over the East Coast for days.