Flooding Kills Hundreds

On Caribbean Island

* U.S. and Canadian troops yesterday rushed to help the people of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where the worst flooding in decades has killed at least 870 people -- and probably hundreds more.

Hardest hit on the two-nation Caribbean island was the town of Mapou, 30 miles from the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. As dark clouds hovered yesterday, troops rushed in with drinking water and other supplies. Most of Mapou was under 10 feet of water.

"We're also fighting time because the weather is turning bad again," said U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Dave Lapan.

The flooding began last weekend. By Monday entire towns had been swept away.

In Jimani, 100 miles from the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo, 18-year-old Pepe Dematin searched for his brother's family of five. "Their house is gone," he said. "I think they must be dead."

"The river took everything. There isn't anything left," said Jermanie Vulsont, of Fond Varrettes, Haiti. His five children were washed away.

Dominican President Hipolito Mejia declared yesterday a national day of mourning.

A kid in the flooded streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.