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Residents watch floodwater as they stand on the destroyed bridge that linked the town of Kintyre to Kingston. ((Collin Reid/Associated Press))

Rescue crews in Jamaica dredged rivers and dug through debris and thick mud on Friday to look for bodies as the number of confirmed dead continued to rise after tropical storm Nicole unleashed floods and mudslides.

Six people were confirmed dead and 15 were missing, said Ronald Jackson of the emergency management office.

About 300 people remained in shelters across the island, but the rain had largely subsided and schools, banks and government agencies opened on Friday after being closed for two days.

Nearly 100,000 people remained without power and tens of thousands were without clean water as the government met with leaders of several international agencies to ask for funds to help rebuild farms, homes and utility systems.

Madge Fletcher, who lives in southeastern St. Catherine parish, said she was still without power and the food in her refrigerator had spoiled. "I'm a senior citizen, and there's no one to help me," said Fletcher, who is in her 60s.

The storm dissolved over the Atlantic late Wednesday afternoon, but officials have warned that intermittent rain could lead to additional slides.

Among the dead was a five-year-old girl crushed in bed when a tree branch crashed through the roof, as well as two construction workers who tried to save money by sleeping in a shack that collapsed in an upscale neighbourhood.

Rescue crews are still looking for a family that was inside a two-storey concrete shack when it toppled and killed a 14-year-old boy. Neighbors said the family included four sisters, the youngest aged three.

Most of the affected are poor people in shantytowns built on unstable banks of gullies.