Flash Flooding Leads to 21 Deaths in Dominican Republic

Mon Nov 20 2023
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SNATO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic: In the wake of torrential storms over the past 48 hours, the Dominican Republic is grappling with a severe crisis, marked by widespread flooding, damaged infrastructure, and collapsing houses.

Described by President Luis Abinader as the “largest rainfall event ever” in the country’s history, the situation underscores the increasing impact of climate change. The relentless rains, stemming from a tropical depression, are forecasted to persist across various regions for the next 24 hours, according to a weather alert from the US embassy.

Dominican Republic, Climate, Crisis, Evacuation, Infrastructure Damage, Severe Flooding

One tragic incident saw a wall collapse onto multiple vehicles in the capital, Santo Domingo, claiming nine lives. The Ministry of Public Works attributed the catastrophe to the infiltration of water into a saturated subsoil, leading to the foundation failure of the concrete wall.

The ministry has initiated an investigation into the incident. Santo Domingo witnessed nine additional fatalities in separate occurrences on the same day, with others losing their lives to floodwaters.

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The Emergency Operations Center reported the evacuation of approximately 13,000 people nationwide, while a majority of the country’s 32 provinces are under alert status.

The aftermath of the storms has left several areas grappling with electricity and drinking water outages. To assess the impact on schools and ensure the safety of students, President Abinader announced the suspension of classes until Wednesday.

Among the casualties, four are US nationals, and three hail from neighboring Haiti. This calamity follows the passage of storm Franklin in August, which resulted in two deaths, one missing person, and the evacuation of around 3,000 people due to hazardous conditions.

The unfolding crisis in the Dominican Republic emphasizes the urgent need for climate resilience and comprehensive disaster management strategies in the face of extreme weather events.

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