Dominican Rep.

Death toll rises to three in Dominican Republic quake

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Santo Domingo (dpa) - A man was found crushed to death under the rubble of a building in the Dominican Republic, raising the death toll to three after a 6.5-Richter scale quake rocked the northern part of Hispaniola island, Dominican officials said Tuesday.

The spokesman for the Centre of Emergency Operations, Ramon Rodriguez Sanchez, said the man was found in the rubble of a motel in Puerto Plata, 225 kilometres north of the capital Santo Domingo.

Another two people died of heart attacks in Puerto Plata, one of the areas most affected by the quake, which struck early Monday.

The tremor toppled at least three buildings and about 70 homes in Puerto Plata and nearby towns. There was further damage to buildings in the provinces of Santiago, San Francisco and Valverde.

Two public hospitals were damaged in Santiago, the second-largest Dominican city.

However, the worst effect of the hurricane was damage to 140 schools, affecting 18,000 pupils, according to officials.

"We are not going to permit that those 18,000 pupils lose the school year" said Dominican Vice President and Education Minister Milagros Ortiz Bosch, in remarks to Deutsche Presse-Agentur, dpa.

She said an effort would be made among all government agencies to find substitute buildings for classes to be held.

Hotels and other tourist facilities in the area, did not suffer major damage, according to reports.

The Western half of Hispaniola island is the French-Creole Republic of Haiti.

dpa am vb AP-NY-09-23-03 1605EDT

Copyright (c) 2003 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 09/23/2003 16:06:21

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