Dominican Republic – Hundreds Displaced as Tropical Storm Franklin Triggers Floods and Landslides

Authorities in the Dominican Republic report 2 people are missing, 2 were injured and hundreds have been displaced from their homes after heavy rain and strong winds brought by Tropical Storm Franklin.

Floods Dominican Republic follwing heavy rain brought by Tropical Storm Franklin, August 2023. Photo: Defensa Civil Dominicana

Tropical Storm Franklin made landfall near the town of Enriquillo in the Province of Barahona, on the Caribbean coast of the Dominican Republic, on 23 August 2023, before moving north.

According to the country’s meteorological agency Oficina Nacional de Meteorologia (ONAMET) in a 24-hour period to 22 August several location recorded more than 150 mm of rain, including Enriquillo with 240.8 mm and Polo, also in Barahona Province, with 190 mm.

Rainfall figures for 24 hours to 22 August 2023 in the Dominican Republic before the landfall of Tropical Storm Franklin. Image: ONAMET

As of 23 August 2023, the Emergency Operations Center (Centro de Operaciones de Emergencias – COE) reported 547 homes were damaged affected, forcing around 600 people to evacuate. Over 300 of those displaced were staying in 15 evacuation centres, mostly in San Cristóbal, Pedernales and Barahona provinces.

Floods, landslides and wind damage impacted 2,760 roads, leaving at least 6 communities isolated. Damage to electrical and water infrastructure left thousands temporarily without power or drinking water.

Civil Defence reported teams were searching for 2 people believed to be missing after being swept away by flood waters. A teenager was reported missing after being swept away by the flooding Nigua river in the north of San Cristóbal city. Another person went missing in Santo Domingo Oeste municipality.

Some of the worst of the flooding occurred in Villa Altagracia, the city of San Cristobal and areas of Santo Domingo Oeste. Two people were injured by a landslide in Hatillo.

The Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic (Asonahores), expressed in a statement that the passage of Storm Franklin has not generated a significant impact on the main tourist areas of the country.

Teams from Civil Defence in the Dominican Republic were searching for victims believed to be swept away by floods following heavy rain brought by Tropical Storm Franklin, August 2023. Photo: Defensa Civil Dominicana

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