Rains a blessing for farmers
Beryl brings flooding in Santo Domingo
Traffic chaos due to Beryl
Classes suspended due to flooding
Flights diverted and delayed due to bad weather
DR to tender renewable projects concessions
SOS Ambiente takes Ministry to court over farming in Valle Nuevo Park
Problems continue in Haiti
Haitians and tourists fleeing Haiti
Dominican Republic not very innovative
Romantic pop at the Hard Rock Live

Rains a blessing for farmers
Farmers nationwide celebrated the rains that came with the passing on Tuesday, 10 July of a tropical wave, a remnant of Tropical Storm Beryl. Diario Libre carries statements where farmers call these a blessing and a miracle. No damages are reported by farmers. On the contrary, Eric Rivero, the president of the Association of Milk Producers (Aproleche), says that the recent rains are helping solve problems caused by recent drought.


Beryl brings flooding in Santo Domingo
A tropical wave (a remnant of Beryl) passed over the country, bringing heavy rainfall and electric storms over more than 10 hours primarily to the Caribbean coast. Streets and underground parking areas were flooded, gullies overflowed, damaging homes and businesses. There were many reports of electronics and electrical appliances damaged by the intense electrical storms, especially in the area of Greater Santo Domingo. Omsa reported buses were running, but public transport was down to a minimum affecting those who tried to go to work. Long power outages also affected the city.

The director of the Greater Santo Domingo water corporation (CAASD) announced that three aqueducts were out of service as prevention on Tuesday, 10 July 2018, due to the intense rains. These are the Haina-Manoguayabo, Duey and Isa-Mana systems.

Since dawn yesterday, Tuesday 10 July 2018, heavy rain was reported in Greater Santo Domingo, San Cristóbal, and Peravia and southern border provinces.

A report in Diario Libre highlighted the leakages and construction flaws evidenced by the heavy rain in recently renovated public hospitals. The hospital renovations were responsibility of the Presidency agency, OISOE.

The intense rains also affected the celebration of the Pan Am Volleyball Cup taking place at the Volleyball Pavilion in the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center.

The weather service, nevertheless, placed 22 provinces under alerts, mainly due to floods and damage by the heavy rains.

Areas placed under red alert were San Cristóbal, Greater Santo Domingo and San José de Ocoa. The ten provinces under yellow alert are Hato Mayor, San Pedro de Macorís, El Seibo, La Vega, La Altagracia, Monseñor Nouel, La Romana, Monte Plata, Duarte (especially Bajo Yuna) and Sánchez Ramírez.
Under green alert are Espaillat, María Trinidad Sánchez, Hermanas Mirabal, Samaná, Puerto Plata, Santiago, Peravia, Barahona and Azua.

The rain is expected to last another day, and according to the COE. More rains and electrical storms are forecast nationwide decreasing in intensity as of Wednesday, 11 July.


Traffic chaos due to Beryl
The Ministry of Public Works has reported landslides at Kilometers 39 and 42 of the Duarte Highway and one on the 6 November highway that is causing road driving problems.

Public Works Minister Gonzalo Castillo said that the rain caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl has also caused flooding across Greater Santo Domingo, and called drivers to proceed with caution. He said that the main problem was that garbage had blocked the drains that caused flooding and that brigades are currently working on the issue. Castillo said that the ministry had around 36 cranes and 2,500 men working to resolve the situation.

There is flooding on Quinto Centenario Avenue, Duarte Highway, Las Palmas de Alma Rosa, Santo Domingo East, Madre Vieja, San Cristóbal, 27 de Febrero, Abraham Lincoln and Luperón.

Social media shared dozens of videos of flooding in underground parking garages in many apartment buildings in Santo Domingo. It was said that more rain fell in 12 hours than usually in a month’s time.

The overflowing of Yubazo River in San Cristóbal destroyed a section of the traffic distributor that gives access to San Cristóbal from the main 6 de Noviembre Highway.

Gran Santo Domingo. Ministry of Public Works brigades promptly restored traffic, as reported in Hoy.


Classes suspended due to flooding
The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology suspended classes yesterday, Tuesday and today, Wednesday 11 July 2018, in universities and higher education centers located in areas affected by the intense rainfall. Higher Education Minister Alejandrina German said that classes would be suspended until the tropical wave had passed.


Flights diverted and delayed due to bad weather
Due to the strong rains yesterday, Tuesday 10 July 2018, flights were diverted from Las Americas International Airport to Punta Cana International Airport. The heavy rainstorms falling in Greater Santo Domingo caused the cancellation of Copa flight 308 and RV512 from Venezuela. There were also delays in the departure from Las Americas of JetBlue 1204 to Newark and Jetblue 2932.


DR to tender renewable projects concessions
The Ministry of Mines and Energy announced on Monday, 9 July 2018, that concessions for renewable projects would be awarded through a bidding process. The Ministry says the intention is to promote orderly development of renewable energy.

Energy and Mines Minister Antonio Isa Conde said that under the new guidelines the government will decide what its priorities are for green technology, set targets for the amount of energy per green technology, select appropriate locations for the generation of green energy and finally announce and circulate the tenders for the specific green energy projects. Minister Isa Conde said the government seeks to promote the orderly development of renewable energy, with clear and transparent regulations that address any perceived or actual obstacle so that the country can implement effective and efficient green energy.

Isa Conde said the decision was reached at a meeting in which he attended along with the executive director of the National Energy Commission (CNE) Angel Canó and the executive vice president of the Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE) Ruben Jiménez Bichara.

He said that regarding companies that are in the process of installing capacities, a protocol will be drawn up to define the next steps for these to secure their power purchase agreements (PPAs). The protocol will also cover firms that have been operating without PPAs.


SOS Ambiente takes Ministry to court over farming in Valle Nuevo Park
SOS Ambiente, a civic society environmental non-profit, has taken the Ministry of Environment and new Environment Minister Angel Estevez to court for lack of compliance of the Plan for Action for the Rescue of the Valle Nuevo National Park. The legal action was taken after on 2 July 2018, Estevez met with farmers in San Jose de Ocoa mountain area, and encouraged these to continue farming, switching their short harvest time crops to avocado and coffee planting. "This action would be unconstitutional since it violates the provisions of the Sectoral Law on Protected Areas,” said Sing. He explained the action would endangers the irrigation of thousands of productive land tasks and the flow of water to dams that contribute significantly to the national energy system.

The Plan for Action for the Rescue of the Valle Nuevo National Park was orchestrated and implemented during the past administration of Francisco Domínguez Brito. It calls for the end to farming in the protected mountain areas of Las Espinas, La Nuez and La Ciénaga al Medio.

Environmentalist Ariel Sing told Diario Libre that Estevez needs to respect the advances of the plan that seeks to increase the water availability. He said the protected area is a source of water for seven of every 10 persons living in the country.


Problems continue in Haiti
Haiti is almost paralyzed due to a transport strike following three days of violent protests due to an announced increase in fuel prices that was then not implemented. Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant chaired a meeting with representatives from parliament to evaluate the situation. At least three people died and several were injured in the violent clashes.

Many people are staying in their homes to avoid trouble and although airlines have resumed services to airports in the country, the situation remains tense and several embassies, such as the German, Canadian and Untied States remain closed with alerts to foreign citizens to stay in place.

The Ministry of Tourism has condemned attacks on hotels and other privately owned establishment and the Caribbean Community (Caricom) has expressed its “deep concern” for the violence in Haiti.

To date, the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti is still calm despite the protests, according to media reports.

However, the president of the National Federation of Dominican Transport (Fenatrado), Ricardo de los Santos, has announced that there is no transport to Haiti, and that even though they have not had any reports of problems, there would not be land shipments of cargo to Haiti until the current situation is resolved and the security of the trucks and drivers is guaranteed.

The executive director of the Center for Export and Investment (CEI-RD), Marius De León said that although formal exports had been stopped, the bilateral markets are still functioning. He lamented the situation in Haiti.


Haitians and tourists fleeing Haiti
There has been a marked exodus of wealthy Haitian families arriving in Las Isabela, Joaquin Balaguer airport as they fled the violence in Haiti. On Monday, 9 July 2018, there were 25 flight arrivals including Century, Sunrise and Helidosa who serve the Santo Domingo - Port au Prince route, as well as private planes and helicopters.

In addition, tourists, foreign diplomats and their families from a number of missions to Haiti were also evacuated to the Dominican Republic. Many of the diplomats and tourists leaving Haiti made connections at Dominican airports to other destinations.


Dominican Republic not very innovative
According to the Global Innovation Index 2018, a report produced by Cornell University in the United States, INSEAD in France and the World Intellectual Property Organization (OMPI), the Dominican Republic is 87th in the list of the most innovative countries in the world. The top 10 innovative countries are Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom, Singapore, USA, Finland, Denmark, Germany and Ireland.

In Latin America, the innovative rankings are: Chile (47th). Others are Costa Rica (54) and Mexico (56), Uruguay (62), Colombia (63), Brazil (64), Panama (70), Peru (71), Argentina (80), Jamaica (81), Dominican Republic (87), Paraguay (87), Trinidad and Tobago (96), Ecuador (97), Guatemala (102), El Salvador (104), Honduras (105) and Bolivia (117), out of 126 countries. Nicaragua and Venezuela were not included due to lack of data.

The study was presented yesterday, Tuesday 10 July 2018 in New York City.

The Global Innovation Index 2018 provides detailed metrics about the innovation performance of 126 countries and economies around the world. Its 80 indicators explore a broad vision of innovation, including political environment, education, infrastructure and business sophistication. The GII 2018 analyses the energy innovation landscape of the next decade and identifies possible breakthroughs in fields such as energy production, storage, distribution, and consumption. It also looks at how breakthrough innovation occurs at the grassroots level and describes how small-scale renewable systems are on the rise.


Romantic pop at the Hard Rock Live
Romantic pop singers and composers Aljadaqui, Pamel Mancebo and Pavel Núñez will be together for a memorable presentation, Triangulo Pop, on Thursday, 19 July 2018 at 9pm. The event is set for Hard Rock Live at the Blue Mall on Av. Winston Churchill. Tickets are for sale online at Uepa Tickets for RD$1,085 general admission.