CORAIL-CESSELESSE (Haiti) - HAITIAN leaders urged many displaced in tent cities to evacuate on Thursday as a deadly storm bore down on the quake-hit Caribbean nation, but thousands clung to their makeshift homes.

'My sisters and brothers, leave the zones that are at risk, I beg of you,' Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said in a television address, flanked by his cabinet ministers.

'There will be rain and wind throughout the country. dont't be stubborn. Leave if you are in a fragile shelter,' he said.

Haitian authorities and non-governmental organizations were rushing to get people to safety and secure vital stocks of medicines and goods before the arrival of tropical storm Tomas. One person was reported killed trying to cross a swollen river in a vehicle, Interior Minister Paul Antoine Bien-aime said.

The storm, which has already killed 14 people in Saint Lucia, is set to sweep past Haiti early Friday bringing heavy rains and winds, and adding more misery to the lives of 1.3 million people left homeless by January's quake.

Refugees were being urged to seek shelter in schools and hospitals, but many fear that if they leave the overcrowded, putrid camps they will lose the only home they have as well as their few precious possessions.

Haitians urged to evacuate