Dominican Rep. + 1 more

Dominican Republic: Tropical Storm Noel OCHA Situation Report No. 1

Attachments

This situation report is based on information received from the National Emergency Commission and member institutions from the Emergency Operations Centre and United Nations agencies in country.

HIGHLIGHTS

- Forty-one people have been killed, 20 missing, 543 rescued and some 51,000 are displaced.

- A five-person UNDAC team is being deployed and a Humanitarian Affairs Officer from the OCHA Regional Office in Panama has arrived today in Santo Domingo.

GENERAL CONTEXT

1. On Friday 28 October, a low pressure system formed over the Central Caribbean, south of Hispaniola Island. Early Sunday morning this low pressure system evolved as a Tropical Depression, and rapidly became a Tropical Storm., threatening directly the Dominican Republic.

2. Heavy and prolonged rainfall hit most of the country, with rivers overflowing their banks and causing major flooding, landslides and the destruction of bridges throughout the Dominican Republic (see attached map).

3. Latest reports indicate that 41 people have been killed, 20 missing, 543 rescued and some 51,000 are displaced. In addition, 41 communities are currently isolated, approximately 12,600 homes have been partially destroyed and 12 bridges and highways affected (see attached list of temporary shelter).

4. Affected Areas: Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, San Cristóbal, Peravía, Azua, Barahona, Pedernales, Independencia, Bahoruco, San Juan de la Maguana, Santiago, Puerto Plata, Espaiat, Salcedo, Duarte (especially Bajo Yuna), María Trinidad Sánchez, La Vega, Monte Plata, Moseñor Nouel, Hato Mayor (especially Sabana de la Mar), El Seibo (especially Miches), Sánchez Ramírez, Dajabón, Montecristi, Santiago Rodríguez, La Altagracia and San Pedro de Macorís.

5. According to weather forecasts, intermittent rainfall will continue for the next 48 hours. This, combined with over-saturation of the soil, will likely cause further flooding and landslides, particularly along the Yuna and Jaya rivers. For these reasons, there is the likelihood of an increase in the number of displaced persons, with needs in the areas of shelter, food, medicine and medical assistance.

NATIONAL RESPONSE

6. President Leonel Fernández announced an amount of DOP 100 million (approximately USD 2.9 million) through the Presidential Social Assistance Plan, to assist the population affected by this disaster.

7. The Nacional Emergency Commission (CNE in Spanish) in an extraordinary meeting held today, has taken the following administrative measures: activation of the Emergency Operations Centre (COE in Spanish) at the national, regional and provincial levels, coordination of first deliveries of food rations with CNE and member institutions, meetings with international organizations, suspension of classes nationwide until further notice.

8. The response has been led by the COE, which has been activated at regional, provincial and municipal levels. Personnel as well as rescue teams have been sent to the areas affected, and have carried out preventive evacuations. Emergency and health teams have been also activated, and ambulances have been deployed to affected areas, among other activities.

9. The current situation in the country surpasses local response capacity. The Civil Defense has reported that shelters have surpassed its maximum capacity, with major needs of food (particularly for children and babies), mattresses, sheets, mosquito nets, brooms and hygiene utensils (soap, toilet paper, diapers, tampons, detergent, and garbage bags) and security.

10. There is also a lack of fuel and oil for search and rescue in the field. The Secretary of State of Public Health and Social Assistance (SESPAS in Spanish) has predicted that this could be a 'worst case' scenario for the country.

11. The SESPAS is running against time trying to reach the different provinces and municipalities affected in order to provide medical supplies to already stretched local health facilities.

12. Short-term diseases:

a. Acute Diarrhea due to contamination of potable water supplies.

b. Acute Respiratory Infections due to high humidity and viruses in the atmosphere.

c. Gastroenteritis (due to consumption of contaminated food)

d. Food intoxication

13. Long-term (1-2 weeks) diseases:

a. Dengue in two variables.

b. Pneumonia.

c. Malnutrition.

For detailed information please contact:

Contact details

Desk officer (New York):
Mr. Ignacio Leon
Office Tel: +1 917 367-9960
Office Fax: +1 212 963-36 30
E-mail: leoni@un.org

GCMS (Geneva)
Ms. Aoibheann O'Keeffe
Office Tel: +41 22 917 4329
E-mail: okeeffe@un.org

OCHA Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
Mr. Douglas Reimer (Panama City)
Regional Disaster Response Adviser
Office Tel. +507 317-1748
Office Fax +507 317-1744
Mobile: +507 6676-1689
E-mail: reamer@un.org

Press contact (Geneva):
Ms. Elisabeth Byrs
Office Tel +41 22 917 26 53
Office Fax +41 22 917 00 20
E-mail: byrs@un.org

Press contact (New York):
Ms. Stephanie Bunker
Office Tel : +1 917-367-5126
Office Fax: +1 212-963-1312
Email: bunker@un.org

Disclaimer

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.