Latin America & Caribbean

Tropical Storm Chantal kills one in Dominican Republic

Men walk through floodwaters caused by Tropical Storm Chantal in Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic (10 July 2013)
Image caption The Dominican authorities are evacuating communities at high risk of flooding

One person has been killed in the Dominican Republic, as Tropical Storm Chantal skirted the southern coast of the island of Hispaniola.

Fireman Juan Ramon Rodriguez was swept away by floodwaters as he tried to clear a storm drain in Maimon.

The US National Hurricane Centre said Chantal had "degenerated into a tropical wave" by 21:00 GMT, but was producing heavy rain and gusty winds.

It is currently 370km (230 miles) east of Kingston, Jamaica, moving westwards.

The remnants of Chantal are expected to spread over Jamaica and eastern Cuba on Wednesday night and Thursday.

The National Hurricane Centre warned of the possibility of storm-force winds in Haiti and Cuba, and localised coastal flooding along the southern coast of Hispaniola. Up to 15.2cm (6in) of rain were expected over Hispaniola, Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas, it added.

The Dominican authorities are evacuating thousands of people from communities considered at high risk of flooding.

Many people in rural areas of the Dominican Republic and neighbouring Haiti live in flimsy homes built on land vulnerable to floods and landslides.

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