President Abinader visits hard hit areas in El Seibo, Hato Mayor and La Altagracia

President Luis Abinader traveled east to visit El Seibo, Hato Mayor and La Altagracia (Higuey), the three provinces most affected by the passing of Hurricane Fiona. Several rivers flooded, and damages were compounded by intense winds and heavy rains brought by the category 1 storm that made landfall on Monday, 19 September 2022.

Government social programs are providing hot meals, materials for housing repairs and donation of appliances and furnishings for the most affected.

The President announced that the road to Miches in El Seibo was restored in 24 hours due to intense work by Ministry of Public Works crews. Miches is the site of a new touristic development; three resorts in the area (Temptation and Club Med brands) were affected by the storm and are under major clean-up operations. Around 300 mm of rain fell in the area, the most concentration of anywhere in the country.

President Luis Abinader regretted the fall of electric service poles that he observed during his trip from Higüey to the city of Higüey. He described as painful to see the major damages caused by the hurricane in the area and instructed government officials to act quickly to bring the necessary aid to those affected.

He indicated that the existing zinc inventory in the country would be purchased, as well as mattresses and household appliances in order to return to normality.

From Higüey to the city of El Seibo, electrical poles were downed, affecting the drinking water supply service to the communities in the area. During the visit, President Abinader said that power has been restored 60% in El Seibo.

“ We are going to act with all the speed we can, but there are always purchasing processes; sometimes there are not all the materials in the country and we are going to help the needed during this time, but we ask for a few days to be able to reach each one of the Dominicans,” said the President in the Presidency press release on the visit to the eastern provinces.

President Abinader ordered the creation of relief operations centers in the different provinces affected by the storm. These will be made up of government ministers and directors.

The President, upon arriving in the city of Hato Mayor, said that he went to this province to help all the families who have been affected and have had situations with their homes.

“The entire Social Cabinet of the government is working to help the people affected by the hurricane; social assistance is being sent to each of the provinces affected by Fiona,” said the President, as reported by the Presidency.

The director of the Emergency Operations Center (COE), Juan Manuel Méndez reported on 20 September 2022 that 13,070 people were evacuated from vulnerable zones due to the floods caused by Hurricane Fiona. The preliminary assessment is that 2,614 houses were hard hit by the storm. Of these, around 600 homes were destroyed.

COE director of operations, Delfin Antonio Rodriguez said that as of Monday, 19 September, 49 shelters were opened to house the homeless, an estimated 548 people.

Read more in Spanish:

Center for Emergency Operations
El Caribe
Listin Diario
El Dia
Diario Libre

21 September 2022