More than 17 000 people were forced to evacuate after dangerous weather system dumped extreme amounts of rain on the Dominican Republic over the past couple of days. Within 24 hours, some regions saw up to 400 mm (15.7 inches) of rain, causing rivers to overflow. This is the same weather system that dumped heavy rain on Jamaica and southern Haiti this week, claiming at least 6 lives.
According to ONAMET, country's meteorological office, a weather station in the southern city of Barahona recorded 396 mm (15.6 inches) of rain within just 24 hours on April 23. Overall, this region received most of the rain over the past 7 days, more than 900 mm (35.4 inches).
7 days of rainfall accumulation by 03:00 UTC on April 27, 2017. Credit: NASA/JAXA GPM, Google
Country's Emergency Operations Center (COE) reported on April 25 that rivers Ozama, Yuna, Cevicos, Monoguayabo and Haina have overflowed affecting several areas in Santo Domingo, San Cristóbal, Monte Plata, Sánchez Ramírez, Duarte and Barahona provinces.
As of early April 26, 17 145 people were forced to evacuate. As many as 3 512 homes have been affected and 9 destroyed, COE reported. More than 340 people had to be rescued.
A Red alert remains in effect for the Duarte province, especially in the Bajo Yuna area. 9 provinces (Barahona, Monte Plata, Monseñor Nouel, La Vega, San José de Ocoa, María Trinidad Sánchez, Sánchez Ramírez, San Cristóbal and El Gran Santo Domingo) are on Yellow alet. Green alert is in affect in 8 provinces (Hato Mayor, San Juan de la Maguana, El Seibo, Espaillat, Hermanas Mirabal, Azua, San Pedro Macorís and Peravia).
Authorities warned people living on high slopes there is a possibility of landslides.
Emergency operations are still in progress as well as food and goods delivery to the affected population. The Ministry of Public Health reports that it will continue visiting homes and shelters.
The same weather system dumped heavy rain on Jamaica and Matthew-stricken southern Haiti where at least 6 people lost their lives.
Featured image: Floods in the Dominican Republic - April 2017. Credit: COE