Dominican Republic faces”Largest rainfall event ever” 24 dead

Tuesday, November 21, 2023


Dominican Republic_rainfall

The Dominican Republic recently experienced the “largest rainfall event ever” with heavy rains.

It caused floods, landslides and other disasters, resulting in the loss of numerous lives.

While official reports state loss of 24 lives, other sources suggest a higher count of eight additional deaths.

The heavy rains and flooding primarily affected Greater Santo Domingo and other areas of the country.

There was an investigation after nine people died of a highway tunnel collapse in heavy rain in the capital Santo Domingo.

There was evacuation of 13,000 people to secure areas after heavy downpours.

The Emergency Operations Center (COE) said rain caused flooded homes, power cuts and damaged bridges and roads. The casualties include three children.

Dominican President Luis Abinader called it the “largest rainfall event ever” in the country’s history, following torrential storms over the past 48 hours.

Torrential rainfall battered the Caribbean nation with footage on social media. It was showing torrents of water flowing through streets and washing away vehicles.

Officials rescued more than 2,500 people and more than 2,600 homes affected by the storm the COE said.

It added that 45 communities were without communication as of Sunday afternoon.

The rainfall developed out of a tropical depression. It may continue across parts of the country into Monday, the US embassy said.

Among the victims were four Puerto Ricans. They lost their lives in the overpass collapse, including a prosecutor and his family.

The United States Embassy in the Dominican Republic confirmed their deaths and offered condolences to their families.

The country faced a similar situation just over a year ago, and despite investments in infrastructure, such as the storm drainage system, the recent rains overwhelmed the region.

The Director of the National Meteorological Office reported that the Dominican Republic received 431 mm of rain. It was 62% more than the rainfall in 2022.

These extreme precipitations caused bridge collapses, flooding, and tragic incidents, including the collapse of an overpass that claimed nine lives.

The incident has raised questions about infrastructure maintenance and preparedness for extreme weather events.

Despite some preventative measures taken, the government faced challenges in managing the situation effectively, and a critical overpass remained open despite signs of impending danger.

As a result numerous vehicles beacme unusable. There is loss of several lives were tragically lost.

This event serves as a reminder of the importance of disaster preparedness and infrastructure maintenance, especially in areas prone to heavy rains and flooding.

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