1 November 2007Responding to the damage caused when Tropical Storm Noël swept over Haiti on 29 and 30 October, blue helmets from the United Nations Stabilization Mission (MINUSTAH) helped to evacuate thousands of people, distribute meals and provide medical assistance to those affected. Responding to the damage caused when Tropical Storm Noël swept over Haiti on 29 and 30 October, blue helmets from the United Nations Stabilization Mission (MINUSTAH) helped to evacuate thousands of people, distribute meals and provide medical assistance to those affected.Persistent heavy rainfall and strong gusts of wind caused 18 deaths, 14 injured, two missing and rendered over 3,300 people homeless while destroying and damaging scores of homes, MINUSTAH said in a news release, citing official figures. The Government of Haiti immediately began organizing the relief effort, with support from the mission, which helped evacuate thousands of people in Cité Soleil and elsewhere in the country who were threatened by rising waters.Overall MINUSTAH helped evacuate 8,000 people, distributed 4,500 meals, and provided medical assistance to 280 patients, mostly in Port-au-Prince, Léogâne, Jacmel and Les Cayes.“In these difficult circumstances MINUSTAH and the United Nations system reaffirm their total solidarity with the storm victims and remain ready to continue assisting the Haitian authorities with all the resources they have available,” the mission said. Tropical Storm Noël also hit the Dominican Republic, where flooding and landslides reportedly killed more than 50 people and displaced tens of thousands more, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which dispatched a Disaster Assessment and Coordination team to the area. OCHA also provided an emergency cash grant of $50,000 to purchase relief supplies and warned that casualty figures could rise as some areas remain cut off while heavy rains are expected to continue through Friday.