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Haiti spared the worst of Tomas

For residents of Haiti, still struggling to recover from last January's destructive earthquake and more recently trying to cope with an outbreak of cholera, the country dodged a bullet.

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People walk in a flooded street after the passing of Hurricane Tomas in the neighborhood of Cite Soleil in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday Nov. 6, 2010.

Ramon Espinosa/AP

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Tropical storm Tomas is heading into the central Atlantic Ocean after splitting the uprights – the 50-mile -wide Windward Passage between Haiti and Cuba – as a category 1 hurricane Friday.

After inflicting an estimated $185 million in damage on the island of St. Lucia in the Lesser Antilles last weekend, resulting in 14 deaths, Tomas's effect on Cuba, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic has been more restrained.

For residents of Haiti, still struggling to recover from last January's destructive earthquake and more recently trying to cope with an outbreak of cholera, the country dodged a bullet. So far, seven fatalities have been attributed to Tomas so far, mostly around the town of Leogane, southwest of the capital of Port-au-Prince. The city lies in a region where flooding and storm surge were said to be particularly heavy.

IN PICTURES: Tropical storm Tomas

There, initial reports indicate the storm destroyed 48 homes, partially damaged as many as 2,800, and slightly damaged another 150. But vast numbers of people in tent cities to the east have largely been spared, if initial reports hold up.

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