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At Least 12 Dead as Tropical Storm Dumps Torrential Rain in Caribbean


At least 12 people have been reported dead and many more are missing, as Tropical Storm Noel continues to dump torrential rain on Hispaniola, an island shared by both the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Dominican officials said Monday evening the storm caused massive flooding that cut off communities, forced evacuations near the country's capital, Santo Domingo, and grounded international flights.

Forecasters warned the island could receive 50 centimeters of rain, with some areas recording up to 76 centimeters of rainfall.

Haiti's Prime Minister Jaques Edouard Alexis warned citizens to seek shelter. He said the storm was moving slowly and dropping a lot of rain.

Haiti is still recovering from floods earlier this month that killed at least 31 people and left hundreds more homeless.

At 0000 UTC Tuesday, the storm's center was 80 kilometers north of the eastern tip of Cuba, where a tropical storm warning is in effect. Its winds were measured at 85 kilometers per hour.

The storm is forecast to pass between Cuba and the central Bahamas overnight and later today. The northwestern Bahamas are under a tropical storm watch.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center has advised resident's of southern Florida to monitor the storm's progress.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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