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KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Tropical Storm Nicole caused flooding and mudslides across Jamaica on Wednesday, leaving two confirmed dead and at least 12 more missing, even as the drenching system moved north and dissipated over the Florida straits.
The outer bands of the storm hammered Jamaica, toppling bridges and knocking out power to thousands. Many streets were filled with gushing brown torrents of water, prompting Prime Minister Bruce Golding to urge people to stay indoors.
Floodwaters battered squatter communities perched uneasily on the slopes of gullies that crisscross the sprawling capital of Kingston. One slide toppled a house and killed a 14-year-old boy, known to his neighbors as Buju, who was found in an pool of muddy water. The rest of his family — including four sisters, the youngest just 3-years-old — had not been found by Wednesday evening.
"He was a fun boy. He loved to sing, he loved to play football. It's not right, the whole family lost," said Munchie Fuller, a 23-year-old neighbor who watched terrified as a chunk of her own concrete house in Sandy Gully was swept into the raging waters before dawn.
Another resident, Lyndon Bennett, said the people in the shantytown who live along the gully are warned repeatedly to move for their own safety but most refuse to relocate.
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