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Tropical Storm Emily kills 1 in Haiti, 3 in DR

The tropical storm that brushed the southern coast of Hispaniola killed one person in Haiti and three in the Dominican Republic, but spared the Caribbean nations the severe damage many feared, officials said Friday.

Tropical Storm Emily threatened to soak more than 600,000 Haitians made homeless after last year's earthquake but the tempest merely skirted the southern coast before it stalled at sea and dissipated.

More than 100 people left their crudely built homes to find safer housing in churches, schools and other building as the storm moved west. There were scattered reports of flooded houses and crops.

"We are thrilled that there was no major damage," Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste, director of Haiti's Civil Protection Department, told The Associated Press.

There was some damage in the neighboring Dominican Republic, where 7,000 people were displaced by floods and three people died, Dominican authorities said.

The Emergency Operations Center said the bodies of two men, ages 19 and 20, were pulled from a river near the town of Higuey, 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Santo Domingo. A 23-year-old man died after falling through a drain in Santo Domingo province.

Rain also triggered landslides that affected a dozen homes on the banks of the Ozama River, which separates the capital from the Santo Domingo province.

Juan Manuel Mendez, director of the Emergency Operations Center, said a broken bridge and floods had isolated more than 50 villages.

In Haiti, one person died. Government workers found a body at the bottom of a ravine in the southwestern coastal city of Les Cayes, said Joseph Edgard Celestin, an official with Haiti's Civil Protection Department.

One person was injured in the southeastern coastal village of Cayes-Jacmel after a tree fell.

Civil Protection worker Jean Renel said an undetermined number of farm fields and houses were flooded in two villages in the southeastern part of Haiti. He said government workers were shoveling mud from a thoroughfare in one of them, Saint-Louis du Sud.

Heavy rainfall also caused several dozen homes next to a river in the Artibonite Valley to flood.

On Friday, the biggest showers in Haiti passed over the southern peninsula but dropped only less than an inch of rain, said Michel Davison, international desk coordinator for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"It looks like you guys are going to catch a break," said Davison.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center reported Friday that the remnants of Emily had a 70 percent chance of reforming as a tropical storm during the next 48 hours as it approached southern Florida.

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Associated Press writer Ezequiel Lopez in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, contributed to this report.