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Thread: DR1 Daily News - Friday, 22 September 2017

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    Default DR1 Daily News - Friday, 22 September 2017

    DR works to restore normalcy after Hurricane Maria
    Rains and wind gusts covered DR after Hurricane Maria left
    Dominican airports gradually returning to normal
    Power outages come with Hurricane Maria
    ITBIS collections in August were 89% of estimates for the tax
    Deputies approve Indocafe bill
    Watch for the coming Acropolis Broadway-style theater

    DR works to restore normalcy after Hurricane Maria
    Greater Santo Domingo and Punta Cana resorts (the major Dominican tourism destination) are quickly springing back after two days of anxiety, rain and wind gusts brought by the passing of Hurricane Maria. The storm itself caused minor damages, but the wide-spreading rain and wind bands of Hurricane María resulted in flooding, toppled trees and line post damages in many locations nationwide.

    Spokesman for the President, Roberto Rodríguez Marchena announced that government services that had been suspended on Thursday, 21 September 2017, were all reinstated on Friday, 22 September. Nevertheless, Minister of Education Andres Navarro maintained the shutdown on all schools nationwide until Monday, 25 September. The government and the Dominican people were praised by the media for preventive efforts to mitigate damages before the hurricane hit and collective clean up efforts after.

    In a press conference at 6pm on Thursday, 21 September 2017, with the eye of Hurricane Maria well past the Dominican Republic, COE director, General Juan Manuel Méndez García, and Onamet forecaster Francisco Holguin, together with Colonel Puro de la Cruz for the Civil Defense announced that 24 provinces continued under red alert for the storm. They reported that 16,000 persons had been relocated to homes of friends or relatives or to state shelters.

    Red alert was maintained for Greater Santo Domingo, La Altagracia, El Seibo, Hato Mayor, Samaná, Espaillat (Moca), María Trinidad Sánchez (Nagua), Puerto Plata, Santiago, Sánchez Ramírez (Cotuí), Santiago Rodríguez, San Pedro de Macorís, La Vega and Monseñor Nouel (Bonao), La Romana, Montecristi, Monte Plata, San Cristóbal, San Juan de la Maguana, Valverde, Dajabón, Azua, San José de Ocoa and Hermanas Mirabal (Salcedo). Yellow alert is still in effect for Peravia (Baní), Independencia, Elías Piña, Bahoruco, Pedernales and Barahona.

    General Méndez said that nationwide 2,991 dwellings had been affected, and 15 were destroyed. He said that 7,383 persons were staying with friends and family, while 9,344 were staying at state shelters.

    Some 25 communities have lost communication by road and 40 aqueducts are affected.

    Francisco Holguin of the Weather Service (Onamet) said that the rains continued all throughout Thursday evening, becoming intense in the Central Mountain Range, the Cibao Valley, the northwest, east, Greater Santo Domingo and areas in the south.

    Rains and wind gusts covered DR after Hurricane Maria left
    While for the most part the Dominican Republic was spared the brunt of Category 5 Hurricane Maria as it moved west from Puerto Rico, the large size of the storm brought flooding and damage caused by rain bands and winds.

    The forecasted path of the storm was maintained, and local forecasters also proved right. Onamet forecaster Francisco Holguin as early as Wednesday, 20 September 2017, had alerted of flash flooding given the size of the storm. He had warned the aftermath, not the storm itself would bring damage to the Dominican Republic.

    Flooding, fallen trees and light posts have affected towns and cities despite the eye of the storm being well to the north of the country. Social media and WhatsApp chats have enabled many people to report and follow the effects of the storm.

    The DR1 Storm Chat on WhatsApp and on the DR1 Hurricane thread on the DR1 Forums early on Thursday, 21 September 2017, with the eye exiting, warned that the southern part of the storm would be bringing lots of rain and strong winds that are still over the Caribbean Sea.

    "This type of storm is not a dot on Windy [the online weather site], it is a complex system covering and affecting an area several times the size of the Dominican Republic," alerted the resident weather forecaster, who operates a sport fishing business in Punta Cana and posts on the DR1 Forum as MikeFisher. He explained the southern part of the storm was still south of the country, thus generating the bad weather when everyone could see the eye of the storm had moved well north.

    The recommendation on Thursday continued to be to stay away from flood prone areas, rivers or areas prone to mudslides through Friday, 22 September.

    On Thursday, 21 September 2017, the Emergency Operations Center (COE) had declared 23 of the 32 Dominican provinces and the National District on red alert. One aging 78-year old man in Higuey municipality in the east was reported disappeared when he did not heed the advice and is known to have attempted to cross a flooding stream. Another person, identified as 32-year old Antonio Miranda, in Espaillat on the north coast, who died instantly when the roof of his dwelling collapsed during a mudslide.

    Reports from Santo Domingo related that with schools, government and most businesses closed on Thursday, Santo Domingo seemed like a ghost town, with most of the public transport also stopped, including the Santo Domingo Metro. During the Hurricane, weather permitting, several Omsa government buses ran on their usual long routes with service free on Thursday. The Ministry of Education ordered all schools nationwide to remain closed on Friday.

    Nevertheless, the capital city of Santo Domingo was not affected by significant power outages, as occurred in other areas of the country. A light drizzle, and occasional wind gusts reminded residents there was a storm in the neighborhood.

    In Santo Domingo, social media shared videos of the Santo Domingo Country Club in western Santo Domingo that was flooded as waters of a nearby creek swept through the social club. Otherwise, in Santo Domingo on Thursday evening several fast food restaurants and restaurants (Taco Bell, included) opened with a good showing of their clientele.

    From Punta Cana, tourists at hotels were relocated to second floors and areas safe from flooding for Wednesday and Thursday, while hurricane protocols were implemented. Large numbers of staff remained at the resorts when impeded to return to their homes by the storm. In some cases hotel staff waited out the storms in the conference rooms prepared for them and reportedly killed time playing dominoes.

    In the East, the old Higuey to Veron road is closed to traffic as Higuey municipality and Ministry of Public Works crews help clear debris primarily from fallen trees. A key bridge on the route also collapsed and will need to be repaired. Traffic on the main Coral Highway route between La Romana and Punta Cana (including Higuey) was not affected.

    Reports are of hurricane storm wind gusts, heavy rain hitting the area. The Cap Cana Marina proved to be the safe place to dock boats. Two catamarans and speedboats left at sea were said to have sunk. In populated areas, light posts and trees were down. There was a show of lots of solidarity as neighbors gathered to share a meal, and help neighbors to repair damage.

    In La Romana, reports are that the Chavón River swelled and pushed a wide span of muddy water to the sea. Some signs are down in the city.

    In Puerto Plata, the focus was on the erosion at Playa Alicia in Sosua and the high tide that slurped at Cabarete Beach. There are reports of flooding of the waters of Boba River and Yasica River in the north. Communities in northwestern Mao and Esperanza were also said to have been affected by flash floods and the opening of the floodgates of Tavera and Monción dams. Farms are expected to be affected by the flooding waters.

    A major 16-vehicle car crash was reported on Duarte Highway on Thursday.
    See the last posts at the DR1 Hurricane Forum at:
    See the DR1 Storm Watch WhatsApp chat at:
    Invite link:

    Dominican airports gradually returning to normal
    After cancellations of flights from the Caribbean, South America, Europe and the United States affected operations at the country's international airports, as of Thursday flights began to gradually resume.

    Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ), that handles the most air traffic in the country, Santo Domingo's two international airports (Las Americas and La Isabela), Santiago's Cibao International (STI) were the first to begin showing flight operation traffic as of Thursday, 21 September 2017, despite most of the morning and afternoon traffic having been cancelled. Puerto Plata was showing scheduled operations beginning in the evening.

    Barahona International Airport served as host to airplanes that were parked there given that Barahona was reported to be in the green alert areas of the storm.

    See flight operations by typing in the airport code at:

    Power outages come with Hurricane Maria
    The Dominican Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE) said that power was suspended in many locations due to the effects of Maria. Several light posts were down and transformers suffered damage, causing regional power utilities to disconnect the service as a safety measure in many cases. CDEEE says this has affected hundreds of thousands customers nationwide.

    The most affected areas with power outages are in the east, northeast, north and northwest parts of the country. EdeNorte said that 181,048 of its customers were without the service on Thursday, 21 September 2017. The main problem was that a high tension transmission line going from Playa Dorada to Cabarete was affected.

    EdeSur reported four circuits are out of service, affecting 40,613 clients. In the eastern region, of 204 circuits, 45 were affected serving 100,000 clients. But by Thursday afternoon, 50% of service had been restored.

    EgeHid reported that 40,000 persons in the south and 100,000 in the east that sourced power from hydroelectric sources were also without the service.

    As reported on DR1 Hurricane 2017 Forum, the Punta Cana electricity utility CEPM rep said that 40% of the company service power service in Punta Cana had been restored, and they are working around the clock to restore the remaining areas.

    As per EdeEste, reported that over 200,000 households in the East were without power, as 50+ circuits out of 200 are down, and one high tension line of 69 kV is down as well, affecting Higuey, Otra Banda, Hato Mayor, Nisibon, Miches, Sabana de la Mar, Yuma, El Seibo, Bayaguana and Monte Plata.

    Power outages in the Dominican Republic are less serious than in other countries because a large number of the population has alternate power sources given that power outages are normal.

    ITBIS collections in August were 89% of estimates for the tax
    The DGII reported that revenues from the value-added tax in the Dominican Republic (ITBIS) fell below expectations. The tax was only 89% of budgeted collections for the first eight months of the year. Tax collections for January to August has been RD$63,271.95, that is 89% of the estimated RD$71,064.89 for the period. Nevertheless, the DGII says that overall tax collections at RD$262,499.58 million are 11.3% over budgeted. But inter-annual growth in the collections is only 1.3%, reports the DGII.

    DGII says that taxation on mining earnings and company business tax increases compensated for the lull in the ITBIS tax. The decline in the value-added tax, nevertheless, could reflect the lull in the spending.

    The director of the DGII is counting on internal improvements to increase tax collections. He announced a cooperation project with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for improving procedures and internal processes within the DGII, training DGII personal and equipping local administrations and the main offices.

    Deputies approve Indocafe bill
    The Chamber of Deputies passed both required readings on the bill that creates the Instituto Dominicano del Café (Indocafe). The organization would replace the Consejo Dominicano de Café (Codocafe). The new institution is promoted as a strong structure to carry out operations, adaptations, research and technology transfers to farmers. The bill was submitted by the Executive Branch and earlier had been approved by the Senate, but then expired when it was sent to the Chamber of Deputies. It was reintroduced by Deputy Lucia Medina (PLD-National District), sister of President Danilo Medina. The bill now returns to the Senate.
    The bill has been rejected by coffee farmer members of the Confederacion Cafetalera Dominicana (Concafed) on grounds that it has stipulations that would harm the small producer of coffee.

    Watch for the coming Acropolis Broadway-style theater
    Businessman Jose Rafael Reyes is turning a movie theater at Acropolis Mall into a show place for Broadway-style and off-Broadway types of shows. Starting in November 2017, his plan is to present these shows every week. He said the halls are prepared for live music to be played to accompany the performances. Reyes said they will be offering programming 12 months of the year, attractively-priced tickets and economically-priced and safe parking. The programming will include musicals, dramas, comedies and children’s shows.
    Last edited by Dolores; 09-22-2017 at 11:46 AM.


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