President Medina expresses solidarity with Mexico over earthquake
Hurricane Maria exits the Dominican Republic, lesser effects to continue
Maria to be worse than Irma says Onamet
Canadians taken off the island in evacuation
Ministry orders removing infrastructure less than 60 meters from the sea
Emergency tourism protocol activated
Punta Cana airport to stay open
Public hospital physicians call off strike
Two marijuana hauls confiscated
New Jumbo in Puerto Plata
Label of Origin to be sought for larimar
Dominican Week in the UK
Victims of Juncalito Catholic priest will sue
Former MLB baseball player sentenced to eight years in jail for corruption




President Medina expresses solidarity with Mexico over earthquake
President Danilo Medina pledged solidarity with the people of Mexico after the second major earthquake has affected the country. On the heels of a 8.1 earthquake on 8 September 2017, on the morning of 19 September 2017, a 7.1 earthquake has killed hundreds due to collapsing buildings further north near Mexico city.

On his Twitter account, President Medina wrote: “We join in prayer and solidarity with the Mexican people at a time when nature is putting us to test. Once more, with the tragic backdrop of natural disasters, we call for solidarity and joint action to protect human lives and save our planet. Our express our deepest sympathy to those who are dealing with the pain of the loss of loved ones. From the Dominican Republic, our hearts are with you,” he wrote.

https://noticiassin.com/2017/09/pres...rremoto-de-71/
http://edition.cnn.com/2017/09/20/am...nth/index.html


Hurricane Maria exits the Dominican Republic, lesser effects to continue
International weather forecaster reports proved to be accurate in regards to the track of Hurricane Maria and the Dominican Republic. Those in the country were able to sigh in relief when the country was spared the brunt of Hurricane Maria that had hit neighboring Puerto Rico as a catastrophic Hurricane 5.

The government in the Dominican Republic shut down for Thursday, 21 September 2017, ordered all schools to close, and most businesses, including major stores, announced they would not open. And metereologists still alert that while the storm’s eye has moved north, the bands of Maria will reach far west and bring high winds for many hours even after the satellite map shows it has gone.

In its 6pm bulletin on Wednesday, 20 September 2017, the Emergency Operations Center (COE) had placed 14 provinces on red alert. These are: La Altagracia (Punta Cana and Higuey), El Seibo, Hato Mayor, Samana, Espaillat, Maria Trinidad Sánchez, Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo, La Romana, Montecristi, Duarte (San Francisco de Macorís), Monte Plata, San Cristóbal and the National District. Provinces under yellow alert are: La Vega, San Pedro de Macoris, Sánchez Ramírez (Cotuí), San José de Ocoa, Monseñor Nouel (Bonao), San Juan de la Maguana, Santiago Rodríguez, Valverde, Santiago, Azua, Dajabón, Hermanas Mirabal (Salcedo). Provinces under green alert are: Elías Piña, Independencia, Bahoruco, Pedernales, Barahona, and Peravia (Baní).

Weather reports filed by DR1 readers all around the Dominican Republic shared for the most part good news regarding damages. It seems that the resorts in Punta Cana will be able to quickly get back to business this weekend, with clean ups, repairs to light structures on the beach and gardening. Ministry of Public Works brigades are out clearing major roads from falling tree starting Thursday, as the storm moves on its forecasted track to the north away from the island. Some light poles and transformers are reported to have suffered, causing power outages in some residential areas in Punta Cana.

The winds and rain in the east of the country had begun yesterday, Wednesday 20 September 2017, as the eye of Hurricane Maria diagonally crossed Puerto Rico and head out to the Atlantic Ocean passing Punta Cana area at a distance of around 55 miles. Starting on Wednesday, while rain bands with wind gusts up to hurricane strength were felt in Punta Cana, but the capital city of Santo Domingo on the south side of the island could hardly tell a major hurricane was in the neighborhood.

Meteorologists in the Dominican Republic predicted that the first effects of Maria would be felt Wednesday through dawn of Thursday, 21 September. This was just one day before 22 September date when Hurricane George devastated the country as a category 3 hurricane back in 1998. It is expected that the east region will be the most affected and most of the provinces in the area are on red alert.

The Emergency Operations Center (COE) began obligatory evacuations and Civil Defense along with the Dominican Armada evacuated 213 people from Saona Island on Tuesday afternoon. They were taken to homes of family and friends.

According to the National Meteorological Office (Onamet), it is thought that Maria will bring around 350 mm of rain, with more in the mountain areas.

According to General Juan Manuel Mendez, COE director, the problem is that the ground is already saturated due to the recent rains. He has said that flooding could begin on Thursday and Friday and some of it could be severe.

All boats have been told to stay in port, and beaches and aquatic sports are forbidden.

See DR1 Forum updates on the storm from around the country:
http://dr1.com/forums/showthread.php...n-2017/page170

https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...vias-por-maria
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...aona-DY8203566
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...-p-m-LF8205805


Maria to be worse than Irma says Onamet
According to Francisco Holguin, from the National Meteorological Office (Onamet), Hurricane Maria will be much more dangerous for the country than Irma, even though Irma was a category 5 and Maria is a category 4 at the time of making the statement. It would later decline to a category 3 as it passed Hispaniola Island. As the storm moves north to the Atlantic Ocean, its rain and wind bands are expected to continue to affect the country on Thursday, 21 September 2017.

Holguin had alerted that Maria will be passing around 150 kilometers from Samana, whereas the eye from Maria will be around 100 kilometers from the east coast and 70 from the north east that meant wind, waves and rain would be worse than during Irma.

He said that Maria was travelling much slower at 17 kilometers an hour and Irma was much faster at 28 kph, so Maria would be in the country for longer. In addition the ground is already saturated so he expects major flooding especially in the northwest, Dajabon, Montecristi and Santiago Rodriguez.

He said that some of the dams would have their floodgates opened and the Yaque del Norte River is already almost full. He says it is possible that extensive areas of farmland will be flooded in the northwest and there may be serious crop damage.

In its 6pm bulletin on Wednesday, 20 September 2017, the Emergency Operations Center (COE) had placed 14 provinces on red alert. These are: La Altagracia (Punta Cana and Higuey), El Seibo, Hato Mayor, Samana, Espaillat, Maria Trinidad Sánchez, Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo, La Romana, Montecristi, Duarte (San Francisco de Macorís), Monte Plata, San Cristóbal and the National District. Provinces under yellow alert are: La Vega, San Pedro de Macoris, Sánchez Ramírez (Cotuí), San José de Ocoa, Monseñor Nouel (Bonao), San Juan de la Maguana, Santiago Rodríguez, Valverde, Santiago, Azua, Dajabón, Hermanas Mirabal (Salcedo). Provinces under green alert are: Elías Piña, Independencia, Bahoruco, Pedernales, Barahona, and Peravia (Baní).

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...cana-YD8207450
http://www.coe.gob.do


Canadians taken off the island in evacuation
As part of measures taken to ensure the safety of their guests, Air Transat of Canada again launched an evacuation operation to get all of its travelers out of the Dominican Republic as Hurricane Maria spiraled through the Caribbean.

Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Dominica, prior to causing damages in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands from Tuesday to Wednesday, 20 September 2017.

Air Transat sent eight aircraft to Punta Cana, Puerto Plata and Samana. Three aircraft would have arrived in Puerto Plata and Samana on Tuesday evening, 19 September, and five in Punta Cana Wednesday morning, 20 September to pick up their passengers ahead of their scheduled departures, as reported in the Montreal Gazette.

According to the airline, close to 2,200 passengers would be evacuated, the airline said.

Other airlines also announced plans to bring home customers, allowing passengers to rebook travel plans and canceling flights because of the hurricane.

Air Canada announced it would be operating five flights including larger aircraft to bring customers home early from the affected areas in advance of Hurricane Maria, including from Puerto Plata, Punta Cana and Samana in the Dominican Republic. The carrier also announced it has implemented a goodwill policy for customers whose itinerary includes a flight affected by the hurricane.

Meanwhile, Sunwing announced all flights into Puerto Plata and Punta Cana have been suspended until 22 September. The carrier also said flexible policies are in place for customers with travel plans to these locales to rebook or change destination and that a contingency plan will be activated, if necessary, to deploy rescue flights to repatriate all customers in the Dominican Republic by Wednesday in advance of the storm’s potential landfall.

Air Transat has also activated its hurricane policy for flights scheduled for Dominican Republic until 22 September. Clients can choose to travel at a later date at no additional cost, travel to another destination served by Transat without incurring any change fees (if the package price is higher than the original booking, the client will be responsible for paying the difference) or cancel their bookings and obtain a full refund in credit vouchers.

http://montrealgazette.com/news/hurr...s-in-caribbean


Ministry orders removing infrastructure less than 60 meters from the sea
The Ministry of the Environment has ordered that all infrastructure that impede free access and that are less than 60 meters from the sea, be removed. In addition, the Ministry ordered that structures any less than 30 meters from the edges of rivers, lakes, lagoons and reservoirs also be removed.

In a document dated 6 September, it instructs the deputy ministries, the provincial offices and the National Service of Environmental Protection (SENPA) to comply with the ruling.

A press release explained that the measure is based on the Constitution, Article 15 that states that sources of rivers and zones of endemic biodiversity are subject to special protection by public bodies to guarantee their sustainable management and preservation as fundamental assets of the nation.

http://hoy.com.do/medio-ambiente-ord...playas-y-rios/


Emergency tourism protocol activated
Deputy Minister of Tourism Julio Almonte, accompanied by Colonel Ignacio Gullón, director of Cestur and Huascar García, director of Civil Defense, met in Puerto Plata with the Tourism Committee to activate the emergency tourism protocol before Hurricane Maria passes the North Coast.

He explained that the procedures were ordered by President Danilo Medina via Tourism Minister Francisco Javier García to guarantee the security of all of the tourists who visit the country.

Almonte said that emergency protocols were in effect for the Puerto Plata International Airport, Amber Cove cruise ship terminal and at all the hotels on the north coast. Use of beaches is banned and tourists are being relocated to safe areas.

Also participating in the meeting were the Tourist Cluster, the Association of Hotels in Playa Dorada, the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Puerto Plata, the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Sosua and Cabarete, the Chamber of Commerce, hotel managers, the Diocese of Puerto Plata, the COE, National Police, Amet, the MOPC Road Security, the Armada and other institutions.

http://elnacional.com.do/activan-pro...r-costa-norte/


Punta Cana airport to stay open
The International Airport in Punta Cana has announced that it will operate normally although checking the official bulletins issued by the Emergency Operations Center (COE) and the Dominican Civil Aviation Institute (IDAC) about the path of Hurricane Maria.

The airport administration announced they have put their contingency plan into operation and if they do have to suspend operations temporarily due to the weather they will proceed with the protocol designed by IDAC for these types of events.

The airport administration recommends passengers to check with their airlines prior to heading to the airport.

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2017/09/2...s-operaciones/


Public hospital physicians call off strike
At 2pm on Wednesday, the board of the Dominican Medical Association (CMD) called off a 24-hour strike that would have coincided with the passing of Hurricane Maria. The public hospital physicians are demanding the government comply with the agreement for pay increases of 15% to 5,000 public hospital physicians. Dr. Waldo Ariel Suero, president of the CMD, said he called off the strike that was critical of the untimely protest action. The government had assigned around 5,000 military and police physicians to fill in for the striking doctors.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...-a-9-IB8210947


Two marijuana hauls confiscated
The National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) has announced that they have confiscated a plantation of 72 trees, presumed to be marijuana. The plantation was located in a mountainous area in Peravia Province, in the community of Los Fondos in Bani municipality. The trees were between four and six feet tall and several people are being sought in connection with the illegally cultivating the marijuana.

In addition, the DNCD has confiscated five packages of marijuana in the province of San Juan de la Maguana. The packages weighed around 40 pounds and were discovered at a checkpoint on the San Juan-Santo Domingo road in the luggage of two people travelling in a public bus. The two were arrested along with others in connection with the discovery are being sought.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...uana-CF8205598


New Jumbo in Puerto Plata
Centro Cuesta Nacional (CCN) announced the opening on 28 September 2017, of the Jumbo Puerto Plata. The new 4,000 square meter superstore will be located at the Avenida Manolo Tavares Justo corner Av. Luis Ginebra in the Urbanizacion Buenaventura in Puerto Plata. The store will also offer delivery.

Madelyn Martínez, corporate marketing director, made the announcement in a promotion held at the auditorium of the UASD Puerto Plata branch.

She said the new branch will be the largest superstore in the province offering over 65,000 articles and sourcing farm products from the region. She firmly believes that the Jumbo will have a positive impact on the Puerto Plata economy with 300 new direct and indirect jobs created.

She said the chain would be attracting customers by offering frequent discount campaigns. In addition to food, the store stocks electric appliances, home furnishings, sporting goods, games, clothes, shoes, garden equipment, books and more.

http://dr1.com/forums/showthread.php...POP-roundabout


Label of Origin to be sought for larimar
The Ministry of Energy and Mines and the National Competitiveness Council signed an inter-institutional agreement for the registration of definitive label of origin for larimar, the rare gemstone only found in Barahona in the southwest. The agreement would help establish mechanisms for the appropriate extraction of pectolite, the geological source of larimar.

The registration of the appellation of origin is presented before the National Office of Industrial Property (ONAPI).


Dominican Week in the UK
The British Chamber of Commerce and the Dominican Embassy in the United Kingdom announced the celebration of the 6th Dominican Week in London from 9 to 15 October 2017. The event also has the collaboration of the British Embassy in Santo Domingo.

As part of the event, meetings, conferences and business round tables will be held to promote trade and investment between both countries.

Dominican Week is the leading event to promote networking and business relations and promote Dominican investments in the United Kingdom, explained José A. Rodríguez, president of BritCham.

http://www.britchamdr.com/en/


Victims of Juncalito Catholic priest will sue
The Observatory of Human Rights for Vulnerable Groups (ODHGV) announced on Tuesday, 19 September 2017, that it would sue the Roman Catholic Church for RD$100 million for damages. The Observatory is representing six families that were victims of rape by Catholic priest Alberto Gil (Wojciech) in Juncalito.

The spokesman for ODHGB, Juan Alberto Francisco says that the sexually abused children have received legal and psychological assistance, but the Catholic Church has not dealt with the matter.

The Regional Court in Wolomin, Poland in 2015 condemned Wojciech (Alberto Gil) to seven years in jail and to pay a penalty of EUR40,000 to the victims and their families. According to Francisco, despite the instruction of Attorney General Andrzej Seremet that the funds be deposited in bank accounts of the parents of the victims, to date the payments have not been received.

Francisco, nevertheless, said the legal case seeks that the church be condemned for its civil responsibility in the case that should go beyond the economic compensation. The group demands that the Catholic Church supervise the people under its jurisdiction.

Francisco said that when they have reached out to the new archbishop of Santo Domingo, he has responded that he is not familiar with the case and will look into it. Francisco said that the Catholic Church committed in 2015 to give assistance to the victims but has not reached out to them.

Francisco said that it is not possible that after so many years, the Catholic Church is not familiar with the case.

"A team of lawyers has decided to work with the victims and their families and in the coming days we will be filing a civil liability claim for damages against the Catholic Church, to make clear that the Church not simply disassociate itself from a priest who commits this type of crime, but rather take full responsibility to address the needs of the victims and their families who have suffered,” he said.

http://elcaribe.com.do/2017/09/19/vi...d100-millones/
http://acento.com.do/2017/actualidad...daran-iglesia/


Former MLB baseball player sentenced to eight years in jail for corruption
Former Major League Baseball player turned politician, Raúl Mondesí was sentenced on 20 September 2017 to eight years in jail for mismanaging RD$300 million during his term as mayor of San Cristóbal from 2010-2016. The court presided by judge Biurkis Milanés also banned Mondesí from taking a government job for 10 years. He was also ordered to pay a fine of RD$60 million to the state.

Raul Mondesí was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1994, a MLB All-Star and a two-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner. He was known for his combination of power and speed and twice achieved the 30-30 club. He played right field for the Dodgers and the Kansas City Royals.

Also sentenced by the judge in the same corruption case with seven years in jail and fines of RD$20 million were former secretary of the San Cristóbal city government Bienvenido Araujo Japa, and former treasurer Antonio de Jesús Ferreira Guzman. Former municipal controller, Pedro Cordero Valverde was sentenced to three years in jail.

https://www.listindiario.com/el-depo...nos-de-prision
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ra%C3%BAl_Mondes%C3%AD