Les Cayes, Haiti — Thousands of Haitians sought shelter in schoolhouses Saturday as the death toll from Tropical Storm Noel rose to 143 across the Caribbean.
Heavy rains continued to pound Haiti, leaving U.N. and Haitian officials temporarily stranded as they toured Haiti's flooded southern peninsula. Noel is the deadliest storm of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season.
Maj. Gen. Carlos Alberto Dos Santos Cruz, Brazilian commander of the U.N. force, visited the shelter and denied guards had left their post overnight. He said responsibility for the nearly 10,000 evacuees rests with Haitian authorities.
But the Haitian government, still struggling to rebuild after years of turmoil, has been almost entirely dependent on overtaxed international aid groups and U.N. peacekeepers to cope with the disaster.