Santo Domingo, September 20 (EFE) .- Two dead, hundreds of thousands of people without electricity, thousands of displaced people and a dozen isolated towns, with this toll, the Dominican Republic begins this Tuesday to quantify the damage caused by Hurricane Fiona as it crossed the country.

Although the Dominican President, Luis Abinader, said on Tuesday that the general assessment of the damage will take about 5 days, some figures are already known: to date 10,840 people are still displaced, there are 2,168 houses affected (including 613 destroyed) and some 317,000 users continue without electricity, according to the latest bulletin from the Emergency Operations Center (COE).

Photograph of a boat stranded on the seashore after Hurricane Fiona hit Samaná (Dominican Republic) today. EFE / Orlando Barria

In addition, there are more than 70 damaged aqueducts, 68 of which are out of service; 23 roads are affected, as well as three level crossings and sixteen bridges, two of which collapsed.

In addition, two people died, a 72-year-old man who fell from a tree top and an 18-year-old girl, victim of the collapse of a power line pole while driving a motorcycle.
Faced with this situation, Abinader has canceled his trip to New York to participate in the UN General Assembly, and members of his government are touring the areas of the northeast and north most damaged by Fiona, who, after hitting Puerto Rico, made landfall in the Dominican Republic on Monday as a Category 1 hurricane.

Government measures

The Dominican executive has announced measures to mitigate the effects of the cyclone and, thus, the town halls of the affected areas will receive special funds on Thursday.

In addition, two special operations centers have been opened to meet the needs of these areas, one in Samaná (northeast) and the other in Higüey (east).

Among the main problems is that of the electricity supply, which also affects the drinking water service, so work is underway against the clock to restore both.

The police today cut down a palm tree that blocks the access road to Samaná (Dominican Republic). EFE/Orlando Barria

Meanwhile, the Dominicans are trying to salvage what they can of their homes and belongings. In El Seibo, in the east of the country, the inhabitants of the Giandiana district put everything they can to dry in the sun, from clothes to armchairs, furniture drawers and even refrigerators, in an attempt to make it useful again.

One of the people affected, Juleisi de la Rosa, tells Efe how the waters of the river entered her house to soak “everything” and affirms with resignation and laughing: “Several zinc plates (from the roof) have disappeared, but just then I went up and hit them.”

“From four o’clock (in the morning -8:30 GMT-) the storm started, at half past four I left and went to my friend’s house and, when I arrived in the morning, I found everything flooded ( …) The river rose and when it collided with the ravine, it went towards the house”, says this young woman who lives alone with a little girl, who helps her mother to clean the gas stove in the middle of the street.

The Dominican Republic continues to experience the indirect effects of Hurricane Fiona, which brought moderate to heavy showers, electrical storms and gusty winds, particularly concentrated in the eastern, northeastern, southern regions. east and the Central Cordillera, mainly in the provinces of La Altagracia, San Juan, Peravia, San José de Ocoa, San Cristóbal and Greater Santo Domingo.

These conditions, according to the National Office of Meteorology (Onamet), should continue in the next hours of the local afternoon-night.

For this reason, the Emergency Operations Center keeps nineteen provinces on yellow alert and another eight on green.

In addition, the use of beaches, water sports throughout the country and recreational activities in the mountains are prohibited, while all ships within the coastal perimeter must remain in port.
Fiona, which already reached category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale of 5 at most on Tuesday and became the third hurricane of 2022 in the Atlantic, made landfall in the Dominican Republic at 03:00 local time (07:00 GMT) of Monday. It left the country at 1:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. GMT) and crossed the North Atlantic.

Web editor: Natalia Sarmiento

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