2022News

Eastern provinces hit hard by Fiona; efforts for recovery are underway

Greater Santo Domingo was hardly affected by Hurricane Fiona. Activities are expected to promptly return to normal.

Otherwise, President Abinader has said Hurricane Fiona brought the heavies losses to the eastern provinces of La Altagracia and El Seibo. President Abinader instead of traveling to New York on Tuesday, 20 September 2022 to attend the UN General Assembly, will visit the areas in Higuey, the bed city for most employees in the Punta Cana area. The government is also compiling reports of damages in Samana and María Trinidad Sanchez (Nagua), the last provinces to suffer mayor damages as Fiona exited the country. To a lesser degree, the eastern provinces of Hato Mayor, La Romana, Duarte and Monte Plata were also affected by the storm.

President Abinader declared the abovementioned eight provinces in a state of emergency. The state of emergency reduces steps for government procurement to expedite disaster relief to the affected areas. President Abinader will visit the affected regions on Tuesday, 20 September 2022 to personally assess the damages and offer support.

Ministry of Public Works crews are working on removing trees and debris to restore the roads in the affected provinces.

Moving at a slow 13 kilometers per hour, Hurricane Fiona made landfall in the Dominican Republic on Monday, 19 September 2022 around 3pm via Boca de Yuma, south of La Altagracia province and exited via Samana after remaining more than 12 hours pummeling eastern provinces with winds and rain. The rivers in the area also flooded adjacent areas. Damages are expected to be in the billions mainly due to the heavy rains brought by the slow moving storm.

One man died in San José de Matanzas, María Trinidad Sánchez province as the storm was on its way to leave. A tree collapsed in his patio, killing 68-year old Isidro Odalis Smith.

President Luis Abinader would have traveled on Monday, 19 September 2022 to attend the 77th session of the UN General Assembly. The UN General Assembly is an opportunity to press for aid for the multidimensional crisis in Haiti that has become a major drain on the Dominican government budget. The Presidency now says the President may still make it to New York to speak at the General Assembly and return immediately, but the decision regarding will be reached later.

The storm affected most resorts in the Punta Cana area, where most guests were asked to remain in their rooms and received picnic boxes with their meals during the storm. The resorts are mostly concrete and efforts are underway to restore gardens and pick up debris to resume activities. Thousands of employees, nevertheless, suffered damages to their homes. The Punta Cana airport has resumed flight activities.

Major damages have been reported for the tourist areas of Punta Cana, from Miches to Cap Cana. Most of the damages call for a clean-up and repairs in time for the peak times of the winter tourism season. The city of Higuey could well have been the most affected by the passing of Hurricane Fiona.

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20 September 2022