The Dominican Republic is facing a catastrophic weather event that has claimed at least 21 lives and displaced thousands of residents. President Luis Abinader has declared it the “largest rainfall event ever” in the country’s history.
The heavy rains, which occurred over the past 48 hours, resulted in severe flooding, infrastructure damage, and the collapse of homes, bringing about a state of emergency in the Caribbean nation.
President Abinader has insisted that climate change must be taken seriously. His plea comes as a response to the rainfall and its devastating consequences.
The president’s assertion that this is the largest rainfall event in the country’s history underlines the severity of the situation and addresses the need for response to address the impacts of climate change.
The toll on human life, at least 21 people confirmed dead, including three children. The National Police reported nine fatalities after the wall of a highway tunnel collapsed onto vehicles in the capital, Santo Domingo.
The Ministry of Public Works revealed that the collapse was a result of water infiltrating a saturated subsoil, causing the foundation of the concrete wall to give way.
Rescue efforts have been underway to find people trapped under debris, and more than 2,500 individuals have been rescued by protection agencies.
Videos circulating on social media depict the sheer force of rushing water dragging cars down streets and buildings.
The scenes are a reminder of the urgency to address the impacts of extreme weather events by climate change.
The torrential rains have impact on infrastructure, causing power outages, damaging bridges, and rendering roads. Over 2,600 homes have been affected, leaving a number of residents without shelter.
The Emergency Operations Center (COE) reports that more than 13,000 people have had to evacuate to safer areas as a result of the flooding.
As of Sunday afternoon, 45 communities were without communication, further complicating the response efforts.
The breakdown in communication underlines the challenges faced by authorities in coordinating rescue operations.
The impact on these communities is likely to be profound, requiring swift measures to restore communication channels and provide assistance to those in need.
President Abinader has announced the suspension of classes until Wednesday. This decision aims to evaluate the condition of schools that may have been affected and ensure the safety of young people.
The president’s swift action reflects the situation and the government’s commitment to prioritizing the well-being of its citizens.
The weather threat persists with the United States embassy issuing a weather alert stating that the rains, originating from a tropical depression, are expected to continue across portions of the country for the next 24 hours.
This alert addresses the need for continued vigilance in the face of ongoing weather challenges. This recent tragedy follows the passage of Tropical Storm Franklin through the Dominican Republic at the end of August.
The earlier storm resulted in two deaths, one missing person, and the evacuation of 3,000 individuals from areas deemed dangerous.
The recurrence of such severe weather events highlights the vulnerability of the region to the impacts of climate change and the importance of implementing effective mitigation measures.
This event follows the passage of Tropical Storm Franklin in August, which resulted in two deaths, one person missing, and the evacuation of 3,000 individuals from hazardous areas.
The recurrence of such extreme weather events underlines the vulnerability of the Dominican Republic to the impacts of climate change.
President Abinader announced the suspension of classes until Wednesday to assess the condition of schools affected by the floods and ensure the safety of students.
This decision reflects the immediate priorities of safeguarding lives and evaluating the damage to critical infrastructure.
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Sai Kishore, a journalist and photographer, has a portfolio of covering some of the most challenging and impactful events. His reporting includes war zones, where he’s captured the stories of courage amidst conflict. He’s also a reporter about the world of crime, especially on crucial investigative matters. Documenting events like devastating floods and powerful earthquakes, helping convey the scale of these disasters. To reach out for inquiries, contact him at: email@example.com