Hurricane Irene lashes Dominican Republic north coast
Santo Domingo.- Hurricane Irene, 80kms NNW of Puerto Plata, remains a category 2 hurricane and is moving north-northwestwards with sustained maximum wind speeds of 160kph. A hurricane warning means that in 36 hours or less, at least two of the three effects associated with Hurricane Irene - strong winds, high tides and heavy rains - may occur in the areas under alert.
This morning the Puerto Plata authorities reported that more than 100 families have been moved from the neighborhoods of Aguas Negras and Playas del Oeste, because their homes are at risk from the strong sea wave activity.
The Civil Defense, together with members of the Armed Forces has been taking people to stay with friends and family or improvised shelters.
Some 14 houses in these areas have been destroyed by the sea. Heavy rains and strong winds continue to affect the area.
Maximum wind speed has been registered at 160kph with stronger gusts, and it is likely that this will increase in the next 24 hours.
Storm force winds, and in some cases hurricane force winds are forecast for the provinces of Montecristi, Valverde Mao, Santiago Rodríguez, San Juan de la Maguana, Santiago, La Vega, Monseñor Nouel, Puerto Plata, Espaillat, Maria Trinidad Sánchez, Samaná, Hato Mayor and Monte Plata. Puerto Plata reported sustained wind speeds of 93kph.
Maritime conditions in all coastal areas remain perilous while Irene moves north-northwestwards, and the Emergency Operations Center (COE) is advising all craft to stay in port.
Coastal flooding risk warnings are in place for residents in low-lying coastal areas on the north and northeast coast like Nagua, Río San Juan and Cabrera.
The forecast for the National District and Santo Domingo North, East and West is torrential rains and wind gusts.
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|Coast of Puerto Plata|
|Aftermath in Puerto Plata|