Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico – Evacuations After Storm Beryl Causes Flooding

The remnants of Hurricane Beryl brought heavy rain and wind to Puerto Rico from 09 July, causing some flooding, and Dominican Republic from 10 July, where almost 8,000 people have been evacuated.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Hurricane Beryl had weakened to a tropical storm on Saturday, 07 July, 2018, as it approached islands in the eastern Caribbean.

Puerto Rico

Many communities on the island are still recovering from last year’s devastating Hurricane Maria.  A recent report estimated that 4,645 people died as a result of the hurricane.

The impact of Beryl was much less severe, although some strong winds were reported and up to 8 inches of rain fell in some areas between 09 and 10 July.

Some surface flooding was reported, in particular in parts of the capital, San Juan. Authorities opened 42 shelters and around 13,000 were without power for some time as a result of the storm. However, no fatalities or injuries were reported.

Rainfall in Puerto Rico after storm Beryl, July 2018. Image: NWS San Juan

Dominican Republic

The heavy rain impacted southern parts of the Dominican Republic from 09 July. Flooding has affected communities in San Cristóbal Province, Santo Domingo Province and Distrito Nacional including parts of the capital, Santo Domingo.

The country’s Emergency Operations Center (COE) reported that 1,586 homes have been affected, 4 destroyed, 7,930 displaced people, 19 communities isolated communities and three bridges damaged.

The provinces of San José de Ocoa, San Cristóbal and Greater Santo Domingo (including Distrito Nacional) were placed on red alert. As many as 22 provinces remain on alert, although warnings have been downgraded to yellow or green.

Rain and flood warnings in Dominican Republic, 10 July 2018. Image: COE

In San Cristóbal, the worst hit areas included the Municipality of Villa Altagracia, due to the flooding of the Haina River, and Barrio Moscú, where almost 1,000 homes were flooded.

Areas around the capital were also flooded, including Los Gandules sector, where the Ozama River overflowed, according to COE. Flooding was also reported in Girasoles, Las Cañitas, Los Arroyos, El Aguacate, Puya de Arroyo Hondo, La Arenita and San Rafael.

The Bienvenido River also overflowed, causing flooding up to roof height in some areas. Emergency rescues were carried out in parts of Manoguayabo.

Local media said that some parts of El Distrito Nacional recorded 230 mm of rain in 8 hours, while San Cristóbal recorded 106.1 mm. Gloria Ceballos, Director of the country’s meteorological department, ONAMET, said that the rainfall was intense, falling at around 65 mm per hour in some areas.

Rainfall in Dominican Republic, 09 July 2018. Image: ONAMET

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