Hurricane Gustav turned deadly as it smashed into Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Local officials in the two countries said at least half a dozen people had died in storm-related incidents, including mudslides. However, it could have been worse; with winds of 145 kilometres an hour, Gustav was the weakest category of hurricane and it lost strength as it passed over land.
Flooding is now threatening crops and, even as the hurricane raged, some Haitians took to the streets in further protests against high food prices. The US National Hurricane Center said Gustav was picking up strength again as it crossed the warm water of the Caribbean, heading northwest towards Cuba and the southern United States. Oil prices rose on fears the storm could batter rigs and refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. Some oil companies have started evacuating personnel from their facilities.