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Thread: DR1 Daily News - Friday, 8 September 2017

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    Default DR1 Daily News - Friday, 8 September 2017

    DR mission travels to Antigua & Barbuda to coordinate aid
    DR escapes the brunt of Hurricane Irma
    Fuel distribution resumed
    Santo Domingo drinking water service not affected
    Power out in many Cibao towns, to be restored shortly
    Hurricane José unlikely to be a threat for Dominican Republic
    Connecting the south, north and east through Santo Domingo
    20.33% wage increase for free zone workers
    Guzmán Ariza celebrates its 90th anniversary
    Il Volo concert set for Wednesday, 13 September

    DR mission travels to Antigua & Barbuda to coordinate aid
    The Dominican Republic is reaching out to help Antigua and Barbuda, two Caribbean islands that suffered catastrophic devastation from Hurricane Irma. The Presidency reported that President Danilo Medina has been in contact with the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne to express the country’s solidarity and offer assistance.

    On Friday, 8 September 2017, a mission appointed by the Presidency would travel to Antigua and Barbuda to coordinate Dominican aid. The Presidency said that many Dominicans live in Antigua and Barbuda.

    DR escapes the brunt of Hurricane Irma
    The satellite images of the major storm as it passed to the north of the country did not tell the story at all. Instead, the best scenario of forecasts for Category 5 Hurricane Irma was what happened.

    The Dominican Republic had prepared for the worse, with government offices, banks, schools, restaurants (with the exception of hotels) shutting down on Thursday, as the country braced for the passing of the storm. The government had called red alert for 24 of 32 provinces.

    Intense wind gusts did cause damage to some plantain farms, especially in the northeast. Other farms in the Cibao were affected by flooding waters due to the opening of dam floodgates to lower levels in preparation for expected heavy rains. But Osmar Benítez, executive president of the Dominican Agribusiness Board (JAD) said that he has not received reports of major damages and that the situation is normal in most farm areas.

    The Center for Emergency Operations alerted the population to the damages and locals prepared. Dominicans took to supermarkets with a vengeance, clearing out the shelves and preparing to bunker in with dominoes and beer. Most stores closed. Diesel and propane companies did record sales, as buildings stocked up to weather the storm.

    Canadian airlines took extra precautions and flew out thousands of their customers. Others in resorts where flooding could turn access difficult, chose to move their guests to hotels in Santiago city and Santo Domingo. An estimated 7,500 tourists were relocated from resorts in Samana, Punta Cana and Puerto Plata. Those who stayed at their resorts, bunkered in and followed the news, celebrating as the storm climbed to the north.

    As it turned out, the Dominican Republic was on the right side of the storm. Timing was right. Samaná in the northeast would get the highest surf, followed by the north coast, wind gusts in southeastern La Romana, but nothing major or as the saying goes… “nothing to write home about.”

    City governments, the Ministry of Public Works and Civil Defense have been quick to get to work to clear debris affecting roads and streets after the passing of Hurricane Irma, especially in coastal cities in Samana, María Trinidad Sanchez (Nagua) and Puerto Plata provinces. No casualties have been reported. Most of the damage has been to houses located in high-risk areas and beachside property, much built within the 60 meters stretch where construction is legally banned.

    The Center for Emergency Operations (COE) on Friday, 8 September 2017 maintained the weather alerts, indicating that rainbands would continue through the weekend. The COE reported that on Wednesday and Thursday, more than 6,800 persons were evacuated in 24 of the 32 provinces under alert. Civil Defense reported there are 2,055 dwellings damaged and 10 communities are incommunicado due to rainstorms or flooding.

    In its Thursday, 8 September evening update, the COE reported that 19,116 people had left their homes and of these 7,926 sought refuse in 96 official shelters. Others relocated to homes of friends and family. COE reported 103 homes were destroyed, while another 2,238 were partially affected.

    The COE, had announced that the least affected provinces would be Elías Piña, Bahoruco and Independencia, on the border with Haiti (green alert), followed by Dajabón, Santiago, San Juan de la Maguana and Valverde. All other 24 provinces have been declared on red alert subject to major flooding due to the rainstorm bands in the sequel of the departing hurricane. The government released water from the major dams to prepare in advance for heavy rainfall.

    On the morning of Thursday, the director of the Center for Emergency Operations alerted that “the worst is not over” saying that the tail of the storm could bring torrential rains that could cover all of the national territory and cause flooding.

    The country’s leading airports were prompt to reopen for flights as normal on Thursday, with Punta Cana International Airport receiving a first flight from Argentina on Thursday morning at 8am. The passing of the storm caused flight cancellations on Wednesday, affecting around 100 flights arrivals and departures on Wednesday.

    The Santo Domingo Metro reported normal service would be resumed on the morning of 8 September 2017.

    Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education ordered the teachers, school staff back to work on Friday to prepare schools for reopening on Monday, 11 September 2017.

    The director of the National Health Service (SNS), Dr. Nelson Rodríguez Monegro, reported that government hospitals had not experienced inconveniences and demand for emergency services was reported to be light, as reported in El Nuevo Diario. He said no health service facility was affected by the passing of Hurricane Irma.

    The city government of Santo Domingo and security forces closed off the Malecón sea-bordering drive in Santo Domingo to regular traffic. In past storms, hundreds of people have conglomerated on the avenue to watch the spectacle of the raging seas, many times putting their own lives at risk.

    Follow the storm reports at:

    Fuel distribution resumed
    The Dominican Petroleum Refinery (Refidomsa) reported it resumed fuel dispatches on Thursday, 7 September 2017. Engineer Hector Grullón, general manager of Refidomsa PDV, said Hurricane Irma did not affect the country as expected, as reported in Acento. He said the dispatching of fuel on Wednesday as of midnight was a routine action taken for security reasons given the expected passing of the hurricane. Sales were resumed on Thursday pm.

    Refidomsa reports that the hurricane did not affect the south of the country making it possible to resume the dispatching of fuel on Thursday. Refidomsa said that propane fuel is being dispatched as normal from the Azua terminal.

    Grullón explained that as a preventive measure the fuel dispatches during the critical period were limited to the daily average volume of the client to avoid speculation and ensure distribution. He said Refidomsa fuel inventory is sufficient to meet the local demand.

    Santo Domingo drinking water service not affected
    As of Thursday, 7 September 2017, drinking water service in Greater Santo Domingo was not affected by the passing of Hurricane Irma. The storm passed well to the north and was felt only as a short-duration rainstorm in Santo Domingo.

    The director of operations for the Santo Domingo Water Works Corporation (CAASD), Luis Salcedo told El Caribe reporters that the service was operating normally. He said production of water was above 420 million gallons per day, and the systems were operating at full capacity.

    “There has not been an event that takes any of the aqueducts of the Greater Santo Domingo out of operation, including the electricity service has been adequate,” he said when visiting Multimedios del Caribe to give a report.

    Power out in many Cibao towns, to be restored shortly
    EdeNorte power distribution utility reported on damage caused by the passing of Hurricane Irma to the electricity system in the Cibao. As reported, as of 1pm on 7 September 2017, 53% of the 471,982 clients of EdeNorte were affected by power outages caused by the storm. As reported in El Nuevo Diario, 150 of the EdeNorte circuits that service 14 provinces in the Cibao were out of service.

    The main problems in the distribution system were registered in Santiago, Licey, Tamboril, La Canela, Sabana Iglesia, Baitoa, Guayabal, San José de las Matas, Pedro García and Cienfuegos.

    Also in Samaná, Las Terrenas, Sánchez, Nagua, Cabrera, Río San Juan, Gaspar Hernández, Cabarete, Sosúa and Sabaneta de Yásica.

    There are reports with power outages in La Vega, Arenoso, Santo Cerro and Pontón.

    Service in Puerto Plata was out as of 1pm on Thursday, 7 September.

    EdeNorte explained that the 69KV line of the ETE Dominicana transmission company was shutdown after the downing of power lines due and trees on the electric lines.

    Engineer Julio César Correa, general manager of EdeNorte, said brigades are hard at work to restore the service.

    Hurricane José unlikely to be a threat for Dominican Republic
    Forecast models show Hurricane Jose taking a turn north in time to avoid Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. José, a category 3 storm on Friday, 8 September 2017, is on a path to the west and its five days out path has it turning north. The bad news for the Caribbean is that it will do a repeat hit of many of the same islands (Sint Marteen and Barbuda) that were devastated by Hurricane Irma.

    To follow storms as they advance towards the Dominican Republic, see

    Connecting the south, north and east through Santo Domingo
    Administrative Minister of the Presidency José Ramón Peralta announced that the government has programmed the start of the third stretch of the Santo Domingo Bypass Road (Circunvalación de Santo Domingo) for next week. The road expedites east-west and north-south traffic making it possible to go from Haina Port, Multimodal Caucedo Port, or Las Americas International Airport in all four directions without passing through the city of Santo Domingo.

    Speaking at the Presidency, in the presence of Public Works Minister Gonzalo Castillo, Peralta said that once completed in all its extension, the road will link the south, east and Cibao with the Greater Santo Domingo, including the National District, the Multimodal Caucedo Port and Haina Port. The third part of the road is the missing link for connecting the south near Haina Port, the north, at km. 24 of the Duarte Highway; the east, at Las Americas Expressway and the northeast at the intersection to the Samaná road.

    Peralta called the road “one of the most transcendental built in the history of the Dominican Republic.”

    20.33% wage increase for free zone workers
    The Ministry of Labor, through its National Salaries Committee, announced an increase of 20.33% in the minimum wage for industrial free zone laborers nationwide. The increase was agreed upon by representatives of the workers and the Dominican Association of Free Zones (Adozona).
    The wage increase will be phased in. A first 15% increase will be effective 1 October 2017, and a second increase of 5.33% as of 1 January 2018.

    Guzmán Ariza celebrates its 90th anniversary
    Guzmán Ariza law firm is in its 90th year. For the anniversary, the firm celebrated a mass at the Santo Domingo Cathedral, officiated by Monsignor Jesus María de Jesús Moya and father Nelson Rafael Clark. “We are honored by being able to celebrate with all of you these 90 year of success and growth,” highlighted Fabio Guzmán Ariza, second generation of the firm. He expressed his pride in being part of the firm as it reaches its third generation. More than 40 lawyers are part of the staff of the law firm that has branches in seven offices nationwide.

    Il Volo concert set for Wednesday, 13 September
    The Italian operatic pop trio, with baritone Gianluca Ginoble and tenors, Piero Barone and Ignazio Boschetto will be performing at the Palacio de los Deportes of the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center this coming Wednesday, 13 September 2017. The stop in Santo Domingo is part of a Latin American tour by the famous young lyrical singers. On Monday, 11 September, the group will appear on Milagros Germán’s Chevere Nights TV show variety show at 10pm on Channel 11.

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    Jul 2004
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    Finishing the eastern piece of Circunvalación de Santo Domingo is a HUGE development and should rid much of the large truck the traffic from the city. It will also greatly help access to Las Amerocas from the west and north.

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