Thousands of people have been displaced by flooding in the Dominican Republic over the last few days.
Heavy rain began to fall in the country from 07 November, causing flooding in several provinces. Over 200 mm of rain fell in 24 hours between 07 and 08 November in Luperón, Puerto Plata. Several other locations recorded more than 100 mm of rain in 24 hours.
The flooding in Dominican Republic comes just a few days after floods in neighbouring Haiti left 10 people dead.
Both countries, in particular Haiti, suffered severe damage and loss of life from Hurricane Matthew in October this year.
Severe flooding also struck both countries in May this year. Powerful storms were measured dropping rain at a rate of almost 300 mm (11.8 inches) per hour on 08 May 2016, according to NASA.
20,000 Displaced, 19 Provinces on Alert
A statement made on 09 November by the country’s Emergency Operations Centre (Centro de Operaciones de Emergencias – COE), said that 20,920 people have been displaced, 4,184 homes damaged and 23 completely destroyed.
At one point 19 communities were isolated after roads or bridges were damaged or blocked by flood water or landslides. As of the latest COE report, the communities of Los Peinados and Los Contreras in Villa Riva, Duarte Province, remain cut off after the Yuna River overflowed.
Nineteen provinces are on alert for severe weather, with 7 provinces on yellow (mid) level alert (Espaillat, La Altagracia, Monte Cristi, Dajabón, Hato Mayor, Puerto Plata and María Trinidad Sánchez) and 12 on green (lower) level. A red level alert was earlier issued for the provinces of María Trinidad Sánchez and Puerto Plata but has since been lifted by COE.
Dominican President Danilo Medina visited the province of Puerto Plata to assess the flood damage and coordinate aid and relief operations.
According to COE’s report, flooding has been reported in the province of Hato Mayor, where the Paña river overflowed, and El Seibo where the Yeguada river overflowed. The Yuna River overflowed in Duarte Province, affecting areas in Villa Riva.
A landslide was reported in Jáico, Province of Santiago. Flooding has affected hospitals in Cabecera, Province of Puerto Plata. Also in the province, the Guananico River has overflowed damaging homes in Guananico municipality.
Evacuations were carried out in Cabrera, Province of María Trinidad Sánchez, due to the overflow of the Tío Marcos River. Elsewhere, flooding from the Bajabonico and Angostura rivers has also caused damage, according to COE.
According to figures from Dominican Republic Oficina Nacional De Meteorologia (ONAMET), at least four locations recorded more than 100 mm of rain in 24 hours between 07 and 08 November:
- Luperón, Puerto Plata – 214.1 mm
- Aeropuerto la Union – 180.3 mm
- Gaspar Hernandez (Espaillat) – 149.9 mm
- Cabrera – 119.8 mm