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Storms Marco and Laura plough through Caribbean, killing 12

A man walks with two goats through a flooded street after the passage of Storm Laura, in Azua, Dominican Republic August 23, 2020.

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Reuters

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People in the Dominican Republic tried to save their animals from the flash floods

At least 12 people have been killed as two storms tore through the Caribbean on Sunday.

Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura brought high winds and rough seas leaving at least nine people dead in Haiti and another three in the Dominican Republic.

Heavy rains have also battered Cuba and the US territory of Puerto Rico.

Marco is expected to make landfall in the US state of Louisiana on Monday, with Laura hitting Texas by Thursday.

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Media captionLouise Lear has an update on the storms in the Gulf of Mexico

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that Laura was expected to strengthen into a hurricane by early Tuesday.

Forecasters also say that Laura may swing east towards Louisiana, and it could be the first time in recorded history that the state has been hit by two back-to-back hurricanes.

The positions for Marco and Laura are at 0300 GMT Monday. Source: National Hurricane Centre

What’s known about the victims?

Nine people were killed in Haiti. Two more, a mother and her child, are missing after being swept away by flood waters, according to Civil Protection Director Jerry Chandler.

People enter a home during the floods caused by the passage of Storm Laura in Azua, Dominican Republic August 23, 2020.

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Reuters

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Many homes had to be evacuated as flood waters rose

Local media say the missing woman works as a paediatrician at a hospital in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Among those killed is a 10-year-old girl who was hit by a falling branch in Anse-à-Pitres, on Haiti’s southern coast near the border with the Dominican Republic.

A man walks in a flooded street during the passage of Tropical Storm Laura, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti August 23, 2020.

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Reuters

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In the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, rubbish was washed down from hillsides

A woman died in floodwaters in Jacmel, also on the southern coast, while a man and two more women died in and around Port-au-Prince.

Footage shared on social media showed Haitians trying to get to safety as the flood waters were rising quickly.

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No details of the other Haitian victims have so far been released.

Haitian President Jovenel Moïse expressed his condolences to the families of the bereaved on Twitter.

In neighbouring Dominican Republic, a 37-year-old woman and her nine-year-old son died when a wall in their home west of the capital, Santo Domingo, collapsed during heavy rains.

A 22-year-old man died when his home collapsed under the weight of a falling tree.

In total, 200 homes were damaged in the Dominican Republic and 1,000 people had to be evacuated.

A woman records with her cell phone the strong waves due to the Laura storm in Guayama, southern Puerto Rico, 22 August 2020.

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EPA

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High winds also hit Puerto Rico

Meanwhile in Cuba, many residents in the country’s eastern regions have been evacuated and housed in shelters or safer buildings on higher ground.

Where are the storms headed?

Marco strengthened to a hurricane on Sunday, with sustained winds of up to 75mph (120km/h), and is moving north between Cuba and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Laura is predicted to head northwest towards Houston, America’s fourth-largest city.

The US National Hurricane Centre has warned that back-to-back hurricanes arriving in the US within days of one another could result in prolonged periods of hazardous weather.

The US Coast Guard has issued a warning for the Port of New Orleans, and called on ships to make plans to evacuate some areas.

Man in New Orleans loads sheets of hardboard into his car, 23 August 2020

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Reuters

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Residents of New Orleans have been trying to make their properties storm-proof

US President Donald Trump has issued a disaster declaration for Louisiana, ordering federal assistance to coordinate relief efforts. On Saturday, a similar declaration was made for Puerto Rico.

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