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Hurricane Ike Aims at Already-Battered Haiti


Haiti is bracing for more severe weather while still recovering from Tropical Storm Hanna, which caused severe flooding and left over 500 people dead.

U.S. weather forecasters issued a tropical storm warning Saturday from the northern border with the Dominican Republic to the Haitian city of Gonaives as Hurricane Ike moves across the Caribbean.

Classified as a category three hurricane, Ike has wind speeds of 175 kilometers per hour but is expected to strengthen again. It is expected to pass near or over the Turks and Caicos islands and the southeastern Bahamas later Saturday or Sunday, and is also expected to hit Cuba.

International aid efforts are underway to help thousands of Haitians who have been without food and clean water for days as a result of massive flooding caused by a series of storms and hurricanes.

The United Nations plans to distribute 19 tons of high-energy biscuits and 50 tons of clean water in Haiti. The United States has also pledged aid, including emergency medical kits and plastic sheeting.

Meanwhile, the European Union announced it is giving the impoverished country $2.8 million to help the victims.

Aid efforts are an answer to Haitian President René Preval's call for international help. Mr. Preval says the situation in his country is catastrophic.

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