Commercial banks to close in red alert areas
Ministry of Education suspends classes in red alert provinces
Hurricane Maria watch for Dominican Republic
President Medina meets with disaster team to prepare for Hurricane Maria
COE begins evacuations for Hurricane Maria
Medical conferences suspended due to Hurricane Maria
Heavy rains in northwest blocked traffic and several dead
First flights canceled because of Hurricane Maria
Legislators asked doctors to delay their demonstrations
Audit of public school teachers found some living overseas
JCE renews service in headquarters building
Not all was bad with Odebrecht
Haitian children are 25% of patients at Robert Reid
Mexican films at the Cinemateca



Commercial banks to close in red alert areas
The Association of Commercial Banks (ABA) announced banks would be closing on Wednesday, 20 September 2017, from 11am to 12 noon in branches and offices in areas declared under red alert by the Emergency Operations Committee (COE) due to the passing of Hurricane Maria. These provinces are: La Altagracia (Punta Cana and Higuey), El Seibo, Hato Mayor, Samaná, Espaillat (Moca), María Trinidad Sánchez (Salcedo), Puerto Plata and La Romana. The press release from ABA says the measure is taken to guarantee the safety of clients and bank staff.

The rest of bank branches and offices nationwide will be operating until 4pm, but there could be changes depending on the path taken by Hurricane Maria, says ABA. The ABA says that the network of automated teller machines will continue active nationwide.

Services will be restored to the normal schedules on Friday, with weather conditions permitting and after an evaluation of damages.

http://hoy.com.do/bancos-no-abriran-...ajeros-operan/


Ministry of Education suspends classes in red alert provinces
As of Wednesday, 20 September 2017, school is called off for the provinces of La Altagracia (Punta Cana and Higuey), El Seibo, Hato Mayor, Samaná, Espaillat (Moca), María Trinidad Sánchez (Salcedo), Puerto Plata and La Romana, under red alert for Hurricane Maria. The major storm is expected to pass by the island as of the first hours of Thursday.

The Emergency Operations Committee (COE) has declared yellow alert for the provinces of San Pedro de Macorís, San Cristóbal, Santo Domingo and the National District. Green alert has been declared for the provinces of Elías Piña, Independencia, Bahoruco, Hermanas Mirabal, Pedernales, Dajabón, Santiago Rodríguez, Valverde, Monte Plata, Santiago, La Vega, Duarte (San Francisco de Macorís), Sánchez Ramírez (Cotuí), San José de Ocoa, Monseñor Nouel (Bonao), San Juan de la Maguana, Azua, Barahona and Peravia (Baní).


Hurricane Maria watch for Dominican Republic
The National Hurricane Center (NHC), located in Miami, Florida, in its reports on Tuesday, 19 September 2017, included the Dominican Republic in the hurricane watch zone and should prepare for possible hurricane conditions. Most of the country is within the hurricane uncertainty cone that predicts tropical storm conditions for Wednesday and Thursday.

The National Hurricane Center says that in the eastern provinces of the Dominican Republic there will be rains that might range between four and 8 inches and that will increase as the storm approaches. Forecasters warn that the storm will affect the country from Saona Island in the southeast all the way up to Puerto Plata to the north. A tropical storm watch has been issued for areas west of Puerto Plata.

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

To follow the storm as it affects the Dominican Republic, see http://dr1.com/forums/showthread.php...2017?p=1821802
http://onamet.gov.do/m/pdto/08w-wpro...co-general.php


President Medina meets with disaster team to prepare for Hurricane Maria
President Danilo Medina met on Tuesday, 19 September 2017 with members of the Emergency Operations Commission (COE). Medina cut short his participation in the United Nations General Assembly to head the Hurricane Maria disaster mitigation efforts.

It is expected that the country will begin to feel the effects starting on Wednesday, 20 September, especially along the northeast, according to the director of the National Meteorological Office (Onamet), Gloria Ceballos.

The President received a detailed report regarding the progress of Hurricane Maria and its possible impact on Dominican territory, according to Roberto Rodriguez Marchena, the presidential spokesman. If the hurricane follows the current models, it is expected that Maria will not make landfall in the Dominican Republic, although abundant rainfall is expected and this is what worries local officials, because the ground is saturated from hurricane Irma and rains from a later low pressure trough that went over the island.

Current projections show the center of Maria will possibly be located approximately 100 miles (between 150 and 175 km) to the north of La Altagracia province, and only about 65 miles, more or less, to the north of Samana on Thursday morning, according to meteorologist Martin Mata. Strong winds and heavy rains are expected in Hato Mayor, El Seibo, La Altagracia, Samana, Maria Trinidad Sanchez, Puerto Plata and Montecristi.

Onamet is maintaining a hurricane watch from Saona Island all the way to Puerto Plata on the north coast. Tropical storm warnings are in place from Puerto Plata to Manzanillo Bay in the northwest.
The Center of Emergency Operations (COE) on Tuesday placed a red alert for the provinces of La Altagracia (Punta Cana and Higuey), El Seibo, Hato Mayor, Samaná, Espaillat (Moca), María Trinidad Sánchez (Salcedo), Puerto Plata and La Romana. COE declared yellow alert for the provinces of San Pedro de Macorís, San Cristóbal, Santo Domingo and the National District. Green alert has been declared for the provinces of Elías Piña, Independencia, Bahoruco, Hermanas Mirabal, Pedernales, Dajabón, Santiago Rodríguez, Valverde, Monte Plata, Santiago, La Vega, Duarte (San Francisco de Macorís), Sánchez Ramírez (Cotuí), San José de Ocoa, Monseñor Nouel (Bonao), San Juan de la Maguana, Azua, Barahona and Peravia (Baní).

During a Tuesday, 19 September 2017 press conference, General Juan Manuel Mendez, the COE director, explained that alert levels could well vary over the next hours depending on the path taken by the hurricane and he reiterated that they have already initiated preventive evacuations of persons in vulnerable areas.

http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2017...lon-maria.html


COE begins evacuations for Hurricane Maria
As part of disaster mitigation efforts, the Emergency Operations Commission (COE) said that evacuations of people from vulnerable areas in Santiago and the northern region began on Tuesday, 19 September 2017. General Juan Manuel Méndez, director of the COE, said that alerts for nine provinces have been issued. When the announcement was made the provinces of La Altagracia, El Seibo, Hato Mayor, Samaná, Espaillat, María Trinidad Sánchez, Puerto Plata, Montecristi and La Romana, and Saona Island were in yellow alert. They are now in red alert.

“Citizens need to cooperate with the authorities to avoid tragedies,” said Méndez. He said that there were no deaths in the Dominican Republic with the passing of Hurricane Irma because of the prevention measures taken.

https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...-huracan-maria


Medical conferences suspended due to Hurricane Maria
Due to flight cancellations and resort preparations for the uncertainty of Hurricane Maria, several medical conferences that had been scheduled for this month in Punta Cana and La Romana have been cancelled. El Nacional reports these have included the Dominican Society of Emergency Medicine (Sodoem) congress that would have been this weekend. A new date is being coordinated with the hotel.

Others are the 26th Dominican Gastroenterology Conference in Punta Cana, and the Menopause Congress, the Dominican Society of Dermotology Conference, the International Emergency Conference, the International Hospital Salvador B. Gautier Graduates Neumology Conference.

http://elnacional.com.do/suspenden-c...huracan-maria/
http://www.resumendesalud.net


Heavy rains in northwest blocked traffic and several dead
The heavy rains falling in the northwest due to a passing weather system, unrelated to Hurricane Maria, affecting the Cibao Valley west of Santiago, has caused interruptions of transit and localized flooding of businesses, residences and farms.

It is suspected that over a dozen Haitian immigrants could have drowned as they tried to cross the Guayubin River near Martin Garcia. Only one body has been recovered so far. The Civil Defense authorities, together with members of the local Fire Department, recovered the body and transferred it to the public morgue in Guayubin. Civil Defense authorities confirm that “between 12 and 16 Haitians” have disappeared as a result of this group of Haitians trying to cross a causeway during the flood.

Flash floods have resulted from the Yaque River having reached flooding stage over the past few days. The high waters have blocked passage over the bridge at Castañuelas in the province of Montecristi, after the rains that fell in the province of Santiago Rodriguez caused all of the region’s rivers to swell beyond flood stage between Sunday and Monday.

The Civil Defense director for the province of Montecristi, Felix Diaz, reported on Tuesday, 19 September 2017, that the floodwaters have begun to recede, but in the morning vehicles still found it difficult to cross between Las Matas de Santa Cruz and Montecristi. The swollen rivers are the result of heavy rains that have fallen over the last 24 hours in the northwest. Onamet forecasts that there might be more rains in the central mountains and the northern areas of the Dominican Republic associated with the passing of Hurricane Maria on Thursday, 21 September 2017.

http://elnacional.com.do/comienzan-a...que-del-norte/ https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...aver-XL8195257


First flights canceled because of Hurricane Maria
At the Las Americas International Airport (SDQ) the cancellation of some 22 flight operations that cover 44 arrivals and departures was announced on Tuesday, 19 September 2017, in the afternoon, because of the approach of Hurricane Maria expected to cross the island on Thursday. The flights affected are primarily from Puerto Rico, Florida, Colombia and Canada.

According to Aerodom, that operates many of the nation’s airports, because of the path that Maria is following, dozens of flights have been cancelled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Among the airlines are JetBlue, Pawa Dominicana, Air Canada Rouge, West Jet, Avianca, among others.

Aerodom reminds passengers that it is very important to confirm flights with the airline before going to the airport.

Cancellations have also affected operations at the Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) and Cibao International Airport (STI) that are not under Aerodom management.


Legislators asked doctors to delay their demonstrations
Legislators from many of the Dominican political parties issued a call to the Dominican Medical Association (CMD) to set aside their plans for protests on Wednesday, 20 September 2017, because of the passing of Hurricane Maria. The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Ruben Maldonado, suggested that “the doctors have to come to the side of the government” because society has to come together in order to prepare for possible emergencies due to the storm.

The legislators included members of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) who said that it would be “fair and reasonable” for the CMD to think about their demands and postponed the call for a general strike in order to join the efforts of prevention and assistance that will be needed by the authorities as hurricane Maria comes close to the Dominican Republic.

The CMD wants doctors who work in one or two health centers to receive a wage increase of 25%, and they have only received, so far, a 10% increase.

The work stoppage affects 191 public hospitals nationwide. The government ordered Armed Forces and National Police physicians to fill in for the striking physicians. Defense Minister Ruben Dario Paulino Sem said that 5,800 military and police medics will be on call during the hurricane days.

The chairman of the Health Commission in the Chamber of Deputies, Juan Carlos Quinones, has called the decision by the CMD “unfortunate” as the doctors push for a general strike in pursuit of the salary increases destined to medical personnel.

http://hoy.com.do/cmd-paralizan-191-...bierno-cumpla/
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...oles-HN8197999
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2017...l#.WcJAMNN97kI


Audit of public school teachers found some living overseas
With all the commotion being created by the Association of Dominican Professors (ADP), the national teachers union, and with some 1,000 teachers currently off of the payroll, it is interesting to note that the audit carried out by the Ministry of Education (Minerd) found some 130 professors of those removed from the payroll to be living overseas while continuing to collect their salaries as teachers.
The audit also found that none of these persons had been authorized to travel abroad and continue to collect their salaries.

Miguel Medina, the spokesman for Minerd, told a press conference that during the process of the audit, 674 teachers were identified as having less work and 209 were working in private schools while continuing to collect pay in the public sector. Another 594 had left the schools without carrying out the due process of retirement and pension.

Medina said that these irregularities, the cost of these 1,680 teachers, represented an estimated RD$648 million per year for the Ministry. He said the audit revealed that 28,747 teachers equal to 32% of the total, were not working where they were assigned, but in other educational centers where they moved without the proper registry of such a move. These irregularities forced the Ministry to make the necessary changes in the payroll.

The spokesman emphasized that as a result of the audit, 835 teachers were blocked from receiving paychecks initially, while the records of another 7,263 teachers were flagged during a second evaluation. A total of 8,096 teachers had their salaries blocked because their service records were found to be incomplete or had irregularities.

Over 4,000 teachers presented evidence that they were carrying out their work properly and these were able to receive their paychecks. Another 3,900 were still blocked because they had not presented until that time any sort of evidence that validated their position as in-service teaching professionals.

http://elnacional.com.do/maestros-vi...-en-educacion/
https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...-adp-en-agosto


JCE renews service in headquarters building
The Central Electoral Board (JCE) reported on Tuesday, 19 September 2017, that they had once again begun to offer service services at the Central Office of Civil Registry that is located in the Centro de los Heroes in Santo Domingo.

Work was halted on Monday in this building because of serious problems with the sanitation system caused by the rains over recent days. Emergency brigades from the CAASD as well as their internal maintenance crews worked feverishly throughout the day and night to resolve these problems.

A press release explains that because of this rapid intervention from the Water and Sewer Corporation of Santo Domingo (CAASD) the breakdowns in the system were repaired and that citizens can now go to these offices to resolve their problems.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...roes-XM8196365


Not all was bad with Odebrecht
Dozens of local subcontractors for the Odebrecht construction company out of Brazil, involved in major high-level bribery of Dominican officials, have come out and told members of the press that the continued presence of Odebrecht in the Dominican Republic guarantees their projects will be well-built and comply with the time frame assigned for each project. They indicated that different from major Dominican construction companies, with Odebrecht a lot of companies have benefited through subcontracts and training for medium and small Dominican companies.

Some 60 Dominican companies tied to the construction industry agreed that Odebrecht had a good track record, saying that the Brazilian company has been contributing a great deal to engineering in the country, constituting a source of knowledge, direct and in direct jobs, new technologies and the development of different areas of construction.

According to the article in the Diario Libre, the companies that sign the document circulating in Santo Domingo expressed their support for the continuing of operations by Odebrecht. These companies called on President Danilo Medina and the Minister of Public Works and Communication to support the continued operation of Odebrecht in the Dominican Republic.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...echt-NN8197861


Haitian children are 25% of patients at Robert Reid
25% of the children treated at the leading children’s hospital in Santo Domingo are Haitians, many of whom are residents in the country. However, many of the babies delivered by their mothers at the hospital had traveled from Haiti late in their pregnancies to give birth in the Dominican Republic.

The director of the Robert Reid Cabral Children’s Hospital, Dr. Ricardo Elías Melgen, said on a TV talk show Detalle Semanal on Teleradio America, that most of the children arrive with serious health problems and add to the country’s child mortality rate. He said that Haitian babies occupy most of the care given in the intensive care unit of the hospital.

Melgen said the hospital admits around 1,200 patients every month, and offers 800-1,000 consultations per day. Some 100-120 emergencies are received at the hospital every day. He said the hospital has 350 beds. However, frequently the number of patients outstrips the hospital’s facilities. Melgen said the hospitals cares for a large number of patients suffering from cancer, leukemia, tumors, among others.

https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...el-robert-reid


Mexican films at the Cinemateca
The Cinemateca Dominicana presents a two week showing of a selection of Mexican films starting Tuesday, 19 September 2017 through Thursday, 4 October 2017. The showings are free.
“Mexican Cinema from Yesterday and Today” is sponsored by the Embassy of Mexico in the Dominican Republic and the Films Agency (DGCine). Among the films is “Enamorada”, by Emilio “Indio” Fernández, starring Pedro Armendáriz; “La Diosa Arrodillada”, by Roberto Gavaldón, starring María Félix; “Calabacitas tiernas”, by Gilberto Martínez Solares, starring Germán Valdés; “Ahí está el detalle”, by Juan Bustillo Oro, with Mario Moreno “Cantinflas” among others. Also, “Por si no te vuelvo a ver” (1997), by Juan Pablo Villaseñor, and “La Cebra” (2011), directed Fernando Javier León Rodríguez, and starring Paulina Gaitán.
https://www.listindiario.com/entrete...ra-capitalenos