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Oct 27, 2012 5:04 PM by Associated Press

As Sandy spins toward US, Caribbean mourns 58 deaths

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Hurricane Sandy has left the Caribbean, but the death toll there continues to rise.

Officials say the hurricane left at least 58 people dead in addition to destroying or badly damaging thousands of homes.

Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas took direct hits from the storm, but the majority of deaths and the most extensive damage is in Haiti, where it has rained almost non-stop since Tuesday. The official death toll there stands at 44,with 12 people missing and rivers still rising.

Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe calls the situation "a disaster of major proportions," saying: "The whole south is under water."

With some 370,000 Haitians still living in flimsy shelters as a result of a devastating earthquake in 2010, emergency officials had to move nearly 18,000 people again to temporary shelters as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

Elsewhere, authorities in the Dominican Republic evacuated more than 18,000 people after the storm destroyed several bridges and isolated at least 130 communities. In Cuba, 5,000 houses at least partially collapsed while 30,000 others lost roofs. And dozens of families have been left homeless in Jamaica.

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