Dominican Republic evacuates residents when Storm Elsa aims

Santo Domingo – On Saturday, the winds in Elsa weakened slightly as Caribbean storms raged towards Haiti and the Dominican Republic, evacuating residents who were under threat of severe flooding.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), aircraft measured maximum sustained winds at 70 mph (110 kph). As a result, Elsa was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical cyclone. Hurricanes are defined as wind speeds above 75 mph (121 kph).

According to the NHC, Elsa was about 40 miles (70 km) south of Beata Island in Dominican Republic at 11:00 EST.

In the Dominican Republic, severe floods were predicted, and authorities evacuated people living near rivers and streams along the coast of Barahona.

The capital, Santo Domingo, was also under extreme flood warning. The emergency group said it had 2,500 centers for those evacuated.

Haiti, which killed 31 people in Hurricane Laura in August, did not order evacuation.

In a collapsed condominium building in Surfside, Florida, emergency officials said the rest of the unstable structure could be demolished on Sunday before Elsa could arrive on Monday. Stated.

According to the NHC, the south coast of Hispaniola, home of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, remained hurricane-warned. Hurricane Watch Covers Eastern Cuba. Jamaica was receiving a tropical cyclone warning.

The situation is likely to get worse in the next few hours, according to NHC. Elsa’s forward speed was expected to drop later on Saturday, but maximum wind speeds remained about the same until Sunday or Monday, when Elsa was expected to be near or above Cuba.

Millions of Cubans tried to prepare for heavy rains and floods amid a surge in coronavirus infection, reaching a record 3,500 on Friday.

“Imagine that the coronavirus has put our lives at risk for over a year and a half and now a hurricane is coming,” Esther Garcia, a housewife in eastern Santiago de Cuba, said on the phone. Said.

According to local media reports, ranchers moved livestock to higher ground, farmers harvested as much crop as possible, urban residents sought food, and residents in reservoirs and downstream of rivers prepared to evacuate.

Friday’s storm blew homes, knocked down trees, and caused floods in Barbados. He then struck St. Vincent with heavy rain and a wind of 85 mph (140 km), crushing banana and plantain crops.

Storm surges in Elsa were expected to raise water levels by as much as 2-5 feet (61-152 cm) above normal in some areas. According to the NHC, it can rain up to 5 inches (13 cm) in Puerto Rico.

Ezekiel Abiu Lopez, Kate Chapel, Nelson Acosta

Posted on