SANTO DOMINGO – Dominican President Danilo Medina is visiting this Friday the areas hit hard by Hurricane Maria, which roared along the country’s eastern and northeastern coasts the day before, causing rivers and streams to overflow while flooding streets and buildings and forcing thousands of people to evacuate.
“President Medina left the National Palace to visit communities slammed by Hurricane Maria, and to see the work of restoration and normalization being done,” presidential spokesman Roberto Rodriguez Marchena announced on Twitter.
Medina started his tour of the Miches municipality in the eastern El Seibo province where residents told him about the disastrous state the hurricane had left them in.
The president said that on Saturday a commission will visit this municipality to evaluate the infrastructure damage Maria left in its path.
He later visited the northeast tourist area of Samana, another of the provinces that suffered most from the storm, and went on to Maria Trinidad Sanchez and Espaillat in the same region.
The latest report from the COE emergency management center indicated that Maria, which on Friday is lashing the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas after devastating the Lesser Antilles and Puerto Rico, left 38 communities incommunicado and more than 19,000 displaced persons in the Dominican Republic, where 20 provinces remain on maximum red alert.
Civil Defense sources told EFE that a man died in the north after falling from the roof of his house because of a mudslide caused by the pouring rains, while another went missing when he tried to cross a flooded ravine in the east, although the COE has not yet included either case in its statistics.
The weather phenomenon also left thousands of Dominicans without power, mostly in the north, where more than 60,000 people are without electricity.
Due to the effects of the hurricane, schools have been closed since Thursday, but the workday, suspended Thursday by the government, was back in business Friday.
The National Weather Service ended the hurricane warning Friday that it had maintained for the north coast because of Hurricane Maria, but warned that rainstorms would continue at least until Sunday, though with less intensity.