SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Hurricane Sandy has been blamed for at least 71 deaths in the Caribbean:
— Haiti: The storm did not directly hit Haiti but it brought several days of drenching rains, causing rivers to overrun their banks across much of southern Haiti. Officials say as much as 70 percent of crops were destroyed in some areas. The official death toll was 54 as of Wednesday, with 21 people still unaccounted for.
— Cuba: Officials say the storm killed 11 people, including an infant, damaged more than 200,000 homes, and destroyed about 15,000 homes in eastern Cuba.
— Jamaica: One elderly man was killed when a boulder rolled onto his property and crushed him as the eye of Sandy traveled over eastern Jamaica. Officials say floodwaters and winds flattened farms, destroyed 71 houses and severely damaged 348 more. The government has put the preliminary price tag at $16.5 million.
— Bahamas: Police say the hurricane apparently killed two people, including the CEO of a bank who fell from his roof while he was trying to repair a window shutter as Sandy approached Thursday. The total cost of damage could be as high as $300 million, according to a report from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, a risk pool for 16 governments in the Caribbean.
— Dominican Republic: The storm killed two young men who drowned while attempting to cross rivers in separate incidents. Nearly 30,000 people were evacuated due to widespread flooding in the south of the country, including parts of the capital.
— Puerto Rico: The U.S. island territory was spared a direct hit but heavy rains caused flooding on the island. One death was reported, a man who was swept away in a rain-swollen river near the southern town of Juana Diaz.