NEWS SEPTEMBER 2008

WORLD NEWS: Gustav Terrifies New Orleans


Gustav terrifies New OrleansDevastation left by Katrina still alive in the memories

The people of New Orleans are worried sick about the city’s future and the devastating impact that hurricane Gustav might have on their city, just three years after hurricane Katrina destroyed a large part of the area.

Gustav already killed at least 85 people in Jamaica, Haiti and Dominican Republic. On Saturday, the hurricane hit the Western coast of Cuba with a rare violence, with winds of 240 km/h with strong gusts reaching 340 km/h.

A mandatory total evacuation was ordered for the city, and it began early yesterday in an orderly fashion. More than a million people are being evacuated along the Gulf Coast between New Orleans and the Texas border.

“For me, this is enough, no more” said Mildred Hanson, 67, a retiree that left New Orleans with her daughter Alice and a dog. Mildred and Alice’ house, in the Metaire section of the city, suffered major damage when Katrina hit in August of 2005 and flooded 80% of New Orleans.

The family could not return until a month later, and they found their house rotting and festooned with mildew and decay.

The devastation left by Katrina, and the images of helplessness of tens of thousands of refugees that were stranded in the city are still alive in the memories of many, in spite of the rebirth of much of the city.

This time, however, federal and state governments provided transportation for the entire population of New Orleans, and other cities to evacuate safely. Trains, buses and even airplanes were provided for persons needing transportation.

Dominican Republic Live, 01.09.08

The Public Work Ministry starts again the Asphalting Plan

Asphalting National Plan Dr
Asphalting Plan Starts againA cargo liner of AC-30 arrived in the country

The “Asphalting National Plan” carried out by the Secretariat of Public Works (SEOPC) could be re initiated thanks to the arrival of a ship which carries 40 thousand gallons of AC-30.

The cargo liner is anchored in the Port of Haina Occidental informed the holder of the portfolio, Víctor Díaz Rúa.

He also explained that another boat containing 30 thousand additional barrels of AC-30 would arrive within 15 days.

This will allow starting again the asphalting and repairing work of the streets and the roads which were damaged by the successive passages of the tropical storm Fay and the hurricane Gustav.

AC-30 is the main component used for the production of the material which is used for asphalting and its delivery in the country is part of PETROCARIBE agreement.

Díaz Rúa, will continue the Asphalting Plan in various provinces at the national level, but in priority on the ways affected by the bad weather conditions.

He explained that the lack of the principal component necessary to asphalting was the consequence of a delay of the suppliers.

At the beginning of August, the Ministry had worked on a project of maintenance of the streets and avenues of the Capital and other provinces of the country, this making part of the “National Plan of Asphalting”, but AC-30 component was out of stock.ng.ies.

Dominican Republic Live, 02.09.08

SPECIAL BULLETIN : The Dominican Republic in Red Alert


Cyclone HannaMore than 8000 people were evacuated this night by the authorities

Downpours will continue today over the totality of the national territory and the tropical storm warning is maintained from Puerto Plata to Bahia de Manzanillo.

The tropical storm Hanna is currently over the Dominican Republic and Haiti, at 150 km in the south-east of the Bahamas.

More than 8000 people were evacuated this night by the authorities.

The ONAMET emitted its last bulletin at 5:00 a.m specifying that the tropical storm Hanna strengthened and that the provinces of Dajabón, Montecristi and Puerto Plata, Espaillat, Sánchez Ramírez, Santiago, Monte Plata, Santo Domingo and the Capital, Duarte, Samaná, La Vega et Monseñor Nouel were in Red Alert.

Strong rains made rivers overflowing and strong wind gusts blew off trees.

This night, the ONAMET also confirmed that the tropical storms Ike and Josephine strengthened over the Atlantic and had the potential to become hurricanes.

There are 3 cyclones, Hanna, Ike and Josephine which again threaten the Caribbean and the United States, during the high peak of the hurricane season 2008.rs.f water.i

Hanna, with a reduced forward speed and tropical winds of 100 to 120 km/h, already killed 15 people in Haiti.

The computer models are still very uncertain regarding the future track of Hanna which could hit Florida according to some or North Carolina according to others.

Dominican Republic Live, 03.09.08

Cyclone IKE is an Extremely Dangerous Category 4 Hurricane


Cyclone IKE is an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricaneIke strengthened to category 4 during the night in less than 8 hours

Ike intensified from category 1 to category 4 during the night and it is expected to be an extremely powerful hurricane. The forecasts on its trajectory are imprecise and it is too early to determine what land areas might eventually be affected by Ike. Located about 800 km of the Leeward Islands, hurricane maximum sustained winds are estimated to be near 230 km/h with higher gusts and is moving near 28 km/h. Hurricane force winds extend outward up 55 km from the center and the tropical storm force winds outward up to 260 km.

Next advisories will be issued every 4 hou

To see the tropical hurricane weather CLICK HERE

Dominican Republic Live, 04.09.08, 8:15am

IKE is a Dangerous Category Three Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale


Hurricane IkeRed Alert for 13 Dominican provinces

The aid authorities of Dominican Republic modified the levels of alarm and put 13 provinces in Red Alert, 11 in Yellow and 8 in Green.

The Emergency Operations Center (C.O.E.) and the National Office of Meteorology (O.N.A.M.E.T.) indicated that they are permanently monitoring the tracking and the development of the hurricane IKE which should strengthen again up to category 4, as well as the coming of the tropical storm JOSEPHINE.

IKE is about 740 km north of the Leeward Islands and approximately 1000 km east-northeast of Grand Turk islands. IKE is moving toward the west near 24 km/h, the maximum sustained winds are near 205 km/h with higher gusts. The powerful cyclone will be close to the Dominican north coasts tomorrow afternoon.

The provinces in Red Alert are:

Independencia, Pedernales, Bahoruco, Monte Plata, Distrito Nacional, San Cristóbal, San José de Ocoa, Peravia, Santo Domingo and Azua.

The provinces in yellow alert are:

Maria Trinidad Sánchez, Valverde Mao, Puerto Plata, Salcedo, Monseñor Nouel, La Vega, Duarte, Espaillat, Santiago and Santiago Rodríguez.

The provinces in green alert are:

Hato Mayor, La Romana, Altagracia, el Seibo and San Pedro de Macorís.

To see the tropical hurricane weather CLICK HERE

Dominican Republic Live, 05.09.08, 9:15am

Dangerous IKE Takes Aim at Caribbean Islands

Dangerous IKE over Caribbean islandsDominican authorities evacuated dozens of families

Miami.– Extremely dangerous Hurricane IKE grew to fierce Category 4 strength Saturday as it roared on an uncertain path that forced millions from the Caribbean to Florida, and Louisiana to Mexico, to nervously wonder where it would eventually strike.

Preparations stretched more than 1,000 miles as the massive, 135-mph storm took a southwesterly shift that could send it over Cuba and the Florida Keys by Tuesday before heading into the warm open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

And once again, a possible target was New Orleans and the already storm-weary U.S. Gulf Coast.

“These storms have a mind of their own, ” Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said after a meeting with mayors and emergency officials. “There are no rules, so what we have to do is be prepared, be smart, vigilant and alert.”

First in Ike’s path was the low-lying British territory of Turks and Caicos, already pummeled for four days this week by Tropical Storm Hanna.

It said the core of Ike was expected to shortly pass “near or over” the Turks and Caicos and begin to affect the southeastern Bahamas overnight.ts o

Tourists were urged to leave the Bahamas, and authorities in the Dominican Republic began evacuating dozens of families from river banks that could flood with waters from two already overfilled dams.

In Cuba, the island’s top meteorologist warned Ike was a “true danger” and government officials began the early phases of emergency preparations. But no alarm was evident in Havana, where the U.S. soccer team was set to play Cuba in a World Cup qualifying match.

Dominican Republic Live, 07.09.08, 09h19 am, local time

IKE Leaves 12,000 Displaced


IKE and the streets of Santo DomingoLast night the Red Alert continued for 23 provinces and the National District

So far, close to 12,000 refugees have been reported (11,915) as displaced or in shelters, 2.383 houses affected and 34 homes destroyed by the strong winds and rains from Ike along the North Coast.

Yesterday morning, there were 43,835 persons displaced or evacuated from their homes, mostly as preventive measures. Last night, the number of people increased as Civil Defense workers began the evacuation of areas like La Barquita, Manoguayabo, Monte Plata and Villa Altagracia. Evacuations were also carried out in San José de Ocoa and the lands below the Valdesia dam.

In spite of the alter, Minister of Education Melanio Paredes announced the re-start of classes today in both public and private schools located in the eastern provinces, as well as Santiago, Santo Domingo and the National District.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Works halted transit over the bridge at the Grande River between Baní and Ázua as a security measure.

The provinces under a Red Alert are: Puerto Plata, Montecristi, Dajabón, Samaná, María Trinidad Sánchez, San Cristóbal, La Vega, Monsignor Nouel, Duarte, Barahona, San Juan de la Maguana, Bahoruco, and Peravia.

According to the head of the Center for Emergency Operations (COE), Colonel Juan Manuel Méndez, the following provinces are also under a Red Alert: Ázua, Sánchez Ramírez, Hermanas Mirabal (Salcedo), Santiago, Espaillat, Valverde, San José de Ocoa, Santiago Rodríguez, Santo Domingo, Monte Plata, and the National District. All other provinces are under a Yellow Alert.

Méndez explained that because of the constant rains there is flooding from the La Vaca and Ocoa rivers in San José de Ocoa, the Lebrón in West Santo Domingo, and the Ocoa in Monte Plata. At the same time, rivers such as the Yaque del Sur and La Cueva, in Ázua, the Yaque del Norte in Santiago and the Soco in San Pedro de Macorís are carrying more than normal amoun

Méndez also said that there were 55 communities that were cut off by floods and landslides. In San Juan de la Maguana, the community of El Corozo was cut off due to problems on the highway.

In San José de Ocoa, the collapse of the bridge over the Vaca River has isolated the community of Sabana Larga. In the Lower Yuna Basin, the towns of Fernando Alonso and La Bija are cut off by flood waters.

Dominican Republic Live, 08.09.08

Advent Buys Out Group That Runs 6 Dominican Airports


One of the most active Caribbean destinations

After sevreal weeks of unconfirmed reports the company Advent International yesterday announced it acquired 100% of the shares of Dominican airports manager Aerodom from the Hazoury Group, Vancouver Airport Services and to other local investors.

The negotiations, although begun around two years, started in earnest two months ago.

Neither Advent nor the Hazoury Group specified the transaction’s figure, but the publication Latin Finance indicated on August 29 that Advent International’s Mexican branch handled the negotiations with Aerodom, with an estimated cost of 350 million dollars.

Luis Solórzano, Advent International director in Mexico, said Aerodom is a market leader in one of the most active Caribbean destinations, in numbers as well as growth of tourist, ethnic and business arrivals.

He said the investment, « allows us to take advantage of our experience in the airport sector to contribute to the creation value in Aerodom. For example, we see an- important potential to increase the percentage from income in the business of sales of duty-free ang food and drink, by optimizing the space in the terminal, in accordance with and as we have done in other airport investments. »

Since 1999 Aerodom manages the airports Las Americas, La Isabela (Santo Domingo), Gregorio Luperón (Puerto Plata), Arroyo Barril, and El Catey (Samana) and Maria Montez (Barahona), through a 25-year government contract, a period extended five more years in 2002.
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Dominican Civil Aviation Institute director Jose Tomas Perez said yesterday that although they had nothing to do with the Aerodom transaction, it’s a process that adheres to the law.

Dominican Republic Live, 09.09.08

Senate Asks President for Disaster Relief for Ocoa


Los CacaosTo overcome the effects of Ike

The Senate asked the President to declare the province of San José de Ocoa a “disaster zone” due to the damage caused by the rains from Hurricane Ike.

The proposal came from Senator Pedro Alegría, and was passed by all of the Senate. The request also asks for the Executive Branch to declare a moratorium on payment of loans made by farmers in the area.

At the same time, the proposal signals the Senate’s solidarity with the families that have been affected by the flooding of rivers and streams in San José de Ocoa province, as well as any other families affected in similar ways by these recent storms.

The senators from Barahona, San José de Ocoa, Independencia, Pedernales, and Bahoruco each requested help from the authorities for their provinces so that their people could overcome the effects of Hanna and Ike.

They pointed out that the Ministries of Public Works and Agriculture and the Agrarian Reform Institute should go to the assistance of these communities cut off by downed bridges, damaged highways and with thousands of « tareas » of croplands damaged by the

Pedro Alegría, Juan Olando Mercedes, Dionis Sánchez, Noé Sterling Vásquez and Diego Aquino said that losses in their areas are “incalculable” and only with the aid and assistance of the authorities can these communities return to normal.

Dominican Republic Live, 10.09.08

Dominican Government Sets Storms’ Damages at More Than RD $1.1B


Damages in Dominican RepublicDamages to road infrastructure and more than 125 houses destroyed

The Government last night set the damages caused to infrastructure and agriculture by the storms Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike at more than RD $1.1 billion, and created a RD $300 million fund to immediately confront the situation.

It also allocated RD $100 million for social assistance including food, mattresses, mosquito nets, blankets and hygiene utensils.

Hanna and Ike caused RD $620 million in damages to road infrastructure, affecting 36 highways, 12 local roads, 12 bridges, 8 drains, two sewage systems and three communities flooded by the heavy rains, and destroyed more than 125 houses.ocalit

Rains damaged 115 kilometers of local roads and left 81 communities cut off, said the Presidency’s Press director Rafael Núñez in a press conference, adding that the storms and Hurricane Ike caused about RD $500 million in losses to farms.

Dominican Republic Live, 11.09.08

Government Will Build New Residences


Leonel Fernández at OcoaAid to the victims of the atmospheric phenomena

SABANA LARGA, San Jose de Ocoa. – President Leonel Fernández ordered that temporary residences are rented and that food is provided to the victims of the tropical phenomena Hanna and Ike in the southern provinces of San Jose de Ocoa, Azua and Barahona.

The president visited this Thursday the affected areas in order to evaluate the damages and to hear the proper voice of the affected people to know their needs.

For that, he talked with families accommodated in shelters in the Community of Sabana Grande and he informed them that for the time being, the Government will accommodate them in rented residences while waiting for, by the means of the National Housing Institute, the building of new comfortable and worthy houses.

He ensured that the families of this commune of Ocoa will receive the necessary attentions like the breakfast, the lunch and the dinner, by the means of the « Comedores Economicos », the Social Plan of the Presidency and the Institute of Prices Stabilization. He indicated that the Institute of Hydraulic Resources and the Secretariats of Public Works and Environment will work to the pipe of La Vaca and El Helechal rivers which caused floods.

After having answered the questions of the refugees in the school of Sabana Larga, president Fernández ensured that the Dominican Corporation of the Official Electric Companies works to repair the energy service in the entire province, service which was damaged because of strong rains and wind gusts.

Then, the Chief of State and the committee of civil servants who accompanied him visited Laguna, in Padre Las Casas, Azua, isolated zone because of the Río Cueva floods. There, he listened to the requests of the municipality, which in addition to the construction of a bridge on the Cueva River requested a college, a church and the afforestation of the mountains which surround this commune.
Barahona

Later, President Fernández flew over the Communities of Cristóbal, La Hoya, Cachón and Pescadería, where many residences and cultures are flooded by the overflow of the river Yaque del Sur, in the neighborhoods of the Rincón de Cabral lagoon.

The leader met with the victims in the Polideportivo of Barahona, where 47 families of the Batey la Bombita are sheltered, 170 children and 253 adults, of which 80 percent are Haitian families.

He explained that there will be an integral support plan for these families which consists of fumigation, delivery of mattress, food and of medical device and medication in order to protect this population.

He supported that it still should be waited until water drops for then adopting longer-term measures which will benefit directly the residents from these l

Among the civil servants who accompanied President Fernández in his course they were the secretary of Public Works, Víctor Díaz Rúa; the director of the Social Plan, Emigdio Sosa; the director of Invi Alma Fernández and the director of Indrhi, Héctor Rodriguez Pimentel.

Dominican Republic Live, 12.09.08

Temístocles Montas speaker at the conference of Geneva


The conference of GenevaWorld event

The Secretary of the Economy, Planning and Development, Temístocles Montas will be this Monday the first speaker of the world event which takes place in Geneva in Switzerland, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) having for topic “Productive Capacity to reach the Millennium Objectives”.

The event, which brings together delegations of governments and international agencies of all the planet, will take place between September 15 to 26, within the framework of the Forty-fifth Part-session of the UNO organization.

The UNCTAD explains that during the conference “they will seek practical means to strengthen world alliances for the development, while focusing on the promotion of the development of the trade and on the construction of the productive capacities especially of the countries in development process, to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Objectives.”

Montas was invited to make the opening speech of the conference by the General Secretary of the UNCTAD, Supachai Pinitchpakdi. “Considering his vast experience in international expansion, it is a great honor for me to invite him personally to open the high level segment of September 15. I am sure that the members of the UNCTAD will benefit from his knowledge and his vision” said Pinitchpakdi.

At the time of the event will also intervene Youseff Boutros Ghali, Minister of Finance of Republic of Egypt; Popane Lebesa, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Co-operatives and Markets, Kingdom of Lesotho; Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Rwanda; Enrique A. Manalo, Vice-president of the Foreign Relations, Philippines; Yasuo Hayashi, President of the Japanese Organization of the Foreign Trade (JETRO); Mia Horn af Rantzien, Executive vice president, International cooperation of Development of Sweden and Laicia Barcena, Executive secretary of the Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL).1st.

Dominican Republic Live, 15.09.08

New Agreement With the IMF for 2009


Logo International Monetary Fund The country will start the negotiations in October

From October 15th, a delegation of the “International Monetary Fund” (IMF), will visit the country in order to start the conversations mentioned in the article IV, and to begin the negotiations in order to sign a new agreement post-monetary with the multilateral financial organism.

For the beginning of the year 2009, the Dominican Republic will be negotiating the agreement with the IMF, according to the informations of the governor of the Central Bank, Héctor Valdez Albizu, during a press conference realized in the Auditorium of the financial entity.

“The Monetary Fund comes after the meeting of October. It comes because the article IV of the Constitutive Convention, of which we are members, has to come once per year and they sometimes come at the end or the middle of October, and they told me they will come after the reunion of the Monetary Fund, that is now, and from this point we will start the conversations” he explained.

He added that from the revision of the program concerning the Article IV, the Dominican authorities will start the approach and the negotiations with the financial organism, with whom an “Stand-by” agreement for US $438 millions of DEG, was signed recently on January 3

“We even informed the president” declared Valdez Albizu after explaining that the IMF will come between October 15th and October 16th. This visit will allow the Dominican authorities to talk about the monitoring program “that could begin in January.”

Dominican Republic Live, 16.09.08

Government Destines Six Billion to Agro


Agricultural sector in Dominican RepublicRe-launching of the agricultural sector

President Leonel Fernández announced yesterday that the government will set aside RD $6.0 billion to finance the re-launch of the agricultural sector. The money will be channeled through loans to producers from the Agricultural Bank (BA) and the National Housing and Production Bank (BNV), although the interest rates were not revealed.

The Chief Executive said that there is RD $1.5 billion of this money for immediate use by farmers through the BA, monies that a destined for short cycle crops, according to the requirements set forth by the bank for these crops.

Moreover, there is RD $2.0 billion in the Reserve Bank and in the BNV. The President said that “We feel that it is important that people have immediate access to these funds, they should be disbursed.”

The President made the announcement of the re-launching of the agricultural sector during a ceremony in the Ambassador’s Room at the Presidential Palace, where the most prominent figures in the sector were present along with representatives of farm and cattle associations.

In addition to these funds, the President confirmed that the Reserve Bank and the BNV were preparing “the prospect for a RD $2.5 billion bond emission that would used as the initial capital for structuring a general fund that would receive donations from the private sector as well as international organizations.”

With this in mind, the President emphasized that the government is talking with the board of directors of the Andean Promotion Corporation, of which the Dominican Republic is a member, and with the Central American Development Bank with the idea of providing money for this special fund designed to assist the agricultural sector.

In a like manner, Fernández also pointed out that the government would also continue with the program of crop pledges and support of milk producers. He said that with the help of Venezuela, through the Petrocaribe Program, support and assistance for the agricultural sector is being developed, with agrochemicals being provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and distributed free to farmers.

The Chief Executive said that he felt that these measures will help begin to pave the way to guarantee food supplies for the Dominican people. In referring to the National Council for Food Security, the President said that he would be sending a bill to the Congress that would provide greater institutional strength to this entity.

The Administrator of the Agricultural Bank (BA) Paino Abreu Collado, said that the board of directors of the bank would be meeting next week to set the interest rates on the loans that would be made to producers. He said that it “would have to be a rate near current market rates, lower, but not too much lower.”

Agro-business leaders such as Félix García, Eric Rivero and José Ramón Peralta, greeted the President’s initiative to make resources available to get the sector moving again. Garcia, the president of the National Association of Farm Product Canners (Afconagro) said that he thought that RD $6.0 billion was sufficient for the sector and is a way to get things moving, and for this the sector is grateful.

Dominican Republic Live, 17.09.08

Fernandez to Take Part in the UN General Assembly


Fernandez in the UN General AssemblyMeeting on Regional Security

Dominican president Leonel Fernandez will travel to the U. S. to participate in the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York and two meetings to assess the Free Trade Agreement with the United States and Central America (DR-CAFTA) in Washington.ould spit out fou

Foreign miniter Carlos Morales said the meetings in Washington will be chaired by US president George W. Bush.

He noted that the first of these meetings will be September 24 to assess the extent of the Free Trade Area of the Central American countries and Dominican Republic with the United States.

Morales said there’ll be a meeting on « Regional Security » on Thursday, September 25.

Dominican Republic Live, 18.09.08

Environment Chief Defies His own Government


Jaime David Fernandez MirabalReclaims green area

Environment minister Jaime David Fernandez Mirabal Thursday headed a group of ecological and community groups to tear down fences placed on land within Santiago’s green belt, distributed by the Dominican Government agency National Assets.sters say “by no means is the season over with, ” predicting that the ocean ca river. r or five more storms.

The official was accompanied by dozens of members of the Cibao Ecological Society (Soeci), community leaders, the Expanded Popular Struggle Front and other organizations who joined to get the authorities to reconsider the decision to build homes there, since the lands have been an ecological reserve for years.

After statements by Soeci president Eduardo Rodriguez and other partcipants, the multitude accompanied Fernandez Mirabal in a tour of the lands, to plant trees of mahogany and other varieties in the trails opened several weeks ago.

Dominican Republic Live, 19.09.08

Storm System Threatens Dominican Republic


Storm system over Dominican RepublicThe Atlantic may be brewing up another tropical depression

Forecasters say a cluster of wind and rain swarming toward the Dominican Republic could become a tropical depression in the next few days and batter storm-drenched Haiti.

The slow-moving system had been largely disorganized, but strengthened suddenly when it reached Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Emergency officials in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti have issued warnings for heavy rain. Haiti is still struggling to recover from three recent hurricanes and a tropical storm that killed 425 people.

Foreca

Dominican Republic Live, 22.09.08

Eight Dominican Provinces Under red Alert, 4 DeadSeptiember 2008

Map of Dominican RepublicTropical wave and heavy rainfallsonte Plata, the río Yavi. And in Eastern Santo Domingo, the Ozam

The Emergencies Operations Center (COE) issued a red alert for eight provincies: La Altagracia, La Romana, San Pedro de Macorís, El Seibo, Hato Mayor, Monte Plata, Santo Domingo and the National District, while four persons drowned.

The tropical wave, which will bring more heavy rainfalls and thunderstorms today, killed 4 persons. They were from San Juan de la Maguana, Barahona, Esperanza and Villa Mella, respectively.

Dominican Republic Live, 23.09.08

Red Alert Maintained in 22 ProvincesSeptiember 2008

Rain on the floor5 thousand 425 refugees and 1085 flooded houses

The Emergencies Operations Center (COE) informed today that the number of refugees and displaced persons had increased to 5 thousand 425 of whom thousand 323 are currently sheltered in 16 official refuges.

The number of flooded residences is currently of thousand 85. Nine communities are still isolated in the East area because of the rivers’ overflows and the Red Alert is maintained in 22 provinces.

The Director of the COE, Colonel Juan Méndez, explained that since the tropical disturbance will continue to cause strong downpours and wind gusts during the next 24 to 36 hours, they are ready to carry out other preventive evacuations in the Southern area of the country. Mainly in Barahona and San Juan de la Maguana, because of the conditions of the Sabana Yegua dam, which is drained at intervals of 200 cubic meters per second.

He said that the Taveras, Valdesia, Rincón and Monción dams are working normally while Sabaneta, Hatillo and Jiguey are freely flowing.

Regarding the Bajo Yuna, he explained that they controlled the zone and that for the moment, any flood is reported

He said that the alarm level is maintained because of possible penetrations of the sea and the possibility of urban and rural floods.

He reminded the population to strictly respect the instructions of the aid organization and to not defy the danger. He quoted as example the case of four people rescued after having been swept away by a river on board of their van because the driver disregarded the warning of the authorities.

He made a panorama of the situation of the rivers in the zones where strongest precipitations occurred.

In Higuey, the Arroyo Santa Clara, El Duey, Maimón and Yuna overflowed. In San Pedro de Macorís, they are El Soco, Arroyo Grasa, Arroyo Pepillo and Cañada del Batey which caused floods. In La Romana, the río Chavón. In M

La Romana and Higüey are still not connected because of the floods on the main road. The other isolated communities belong to the zones of San Pedro de Macorís, Higuey, El Seibo and Monte Plata.

Dominican Republic Live, by Deyanira Polanco, 24.09.08

Hurricane season: Three Storms and one Hurricane Hit Dominican Republic in One MonthSeptiember 2008

Hurricane season from sateliteThe storms Fay, Gustav, Hanna and the hurricane Ike

About fifteen killed people, damage to agriculture for more than 1,500 million pesos, thousands of evacuated people and hundreds of moved persons is the assessment of the damage caused by the three tropical storms and the hurricane which struck the country during the last five weeks.

The intense rains started with the storm Fay in middle of August and continued until today, whereas a tropical disturbance maintains seven provinces in red alert and the others in yellow alert

The Emergencies Operations Center (COE) maintains a constant monitoring of the national territory, because of the saturation of the grounds and the threat of landslides.
The first phenomenon was Fay

This tropical storm formed in the Caribbean and caused the death of three people in the province of La Altagracia. In Higüey, one reported more than 200 people in refuges.
Gustav

On August 27, this phenomenon caused the death of eight people of the same family, in the Guachupita sector, in the north of Distrito Nacional because of the collapse of their housing.

Gustav entered to the country with category one, caused the evacuation of 5.727 people and isolated several villages in various areas.

1.100, according residences were affected according to the official reports.

The phenomenon obliged to put 19 provinces in red alert, the highest degree of danger for an atmospheric phenomenon. Institutions of State had to bring assistance to many families.
Damage of Hanna

This storm increased the number of sheltered people. One did not reported human tragedies, but the storm increased the threat for the inhabitants of the river banks, like the Ozama and the Isabela rivers, in the capital. The storm also increased the danger of floods in the zone of the bajo Yuna.

The assessment of Hanna was ten thousand evacuees and approximately 2.000 residences affected. The plantations, like rice, were destroyed in several villages.
Ike, the terrible onexico has increased by a combined total of more than 200 percent.”

Ike was the only one which became a hurricane and which reached the category four. It left on its path two died people in the country and destroyed roads in several provinces, in particular in San Jose de Ocoa.

Dominican Republic Live, 25.09.08

USA, Dominican Republic and 10 Other Countries Launch an InitiativeSeptiember 2008

Council of the Americas headquarters in New York City”Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas”

On September 24, leaders and representatives from a dozen Western Hemisphere nations met at the Council of the Americas headquarters in New York City to mark the collective political and economic cooperation and success they have enjoyed as partners in the region.

The meeting, denominated “Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas”, emphasized the significant progress each nation has made individually and collectively to promote their shared commitments to trade and investment liberalization, social inclusion, development, rule of law, and democracy. The discussions focused on the region’s ability to achieve and sustain broad-based economic growth and social development in the hemisphere, and launched the Pathways to Prosperity initiative.

The central goal of the Pathways initiative is to ensure that the benefits of trade liberalization are broadly shared throughout each nation’s respective society through deepening hemispheric economic integration and cooperation, and improved labor and environmental standards and enforcement.

During the event, United States President George W. Bush noted that each of the countries represented in New York “has a free trade agreement with the United States, or one pending before Congress.”

President Bush emphasized the importance of those agreements by noting the impressive growth in trade between the United States and those nations with which it currently enjoys free trade agreements. “The Central-American-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement is in its early stages, but trade between participating countries with the United States is up 23 percent. That translates into jobs and prosperity. In the five years since the free trade agreement between the United States and Chile took effect, trade between our two nations has increased by more than 180 percent … In the nearly 15 years since NAFTA entered force, trade between the United States, Canada and Me

 

Leaders and representatives from Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and the United States were in attendance. A communiqué issued following the gathering invited “all countries, as participants or observers, in the Western Hemisphere that share our commitment to democracy, open markets and free trade” to take part in the Pathways to Prosperity initiative.

Dominican Republic Live, Washington News Service, 26.09.08

Creation of an Emergency Medical Service at HomeSeptiember 2008

Logo of SOS MedicosEffective and economic

The President of the new foundation “Socorro Organizado de Salud – S.O.S. – Médicos” (Organized Health Assistance – S.O.S. – Doctors), Jean Claude Fernandes, announces that a fleet of emergency mobile units would start from November 1, to cover the sector of the Capital, two months before the official inauguration of the service, which will take place on January 1, 2009.

“Very soon, we will be able to see these vehicles in the Capital streets”; explained Mr. Fernandes while he showed the model of a white vehicle.

“It does not act of an ambulance”, he specified, “but of a van equipped with first aid material and which will make it possible to answer the emergencies like paediatric problems, hypertension cases etc, which actually are part of the great majority of the night emergencies”.

“The most serious cases, will be directed towards specialized private clinics or it will be recommended to use an ambulance.”

For that, S.O.S Doctors is setting up an unit of management, the FAMU (Emergency Medical Aid Force) to be able to offer complementary services.

“Thus, MoviMed and MoviLab, for example, would ensure ambulances and laboratory services at home”, added Fernandes.

The FAMU would ensure the management of the services. “We are specialists in hospital and out-patient medical services” ; explains Gustavo Guilamo, manager of InterClinicas, founding member of the FAMU.

“To be linked with S.O.S will allow to concretize our project to create first aid services for the population as the First Aid Programme of the Public Health ministry”.

“The cases whose centers of first aid will not be able to manage will be obviously redirected towards more specialized private clinics” he added.

“The junction within the FAMU of specialists and high level professionals, will allow the development of an active and efficient network”.

As much S.O.S Doctors as well as the FAMU projects will go beyond the emergency services. It acts, thanks to the links made by their network, to carry out prevention campaigns as well as with the public health services as with their partners.

“We cannot only provide curative care. There are many diseases which can be controlled with a preventive medicine, like hypertension, pregnacy or paeditric probelms”; insist Guilamo of the FAMU.

On January 1, 2010, S.O.S Doctors will be present in six areas of the country, Samaná will be one of them.

This service would finally equip the Dominican Republic with an emergency medical service at home, managed by medical personnel highly qualified, able to solve a majority of emergency cases, as it is already the case in approximately 89 countries.

The system effectiveness is based on a very modern model of communication: a call center managed by doctors able to give prevention advices, a fleet of vehicles equipped of aid material and qualified medical personnel, with a GPS system to quickly locate the patients.

“We are requesting CODETEL to provide us a three digits number, very easy to memorize, and which will be operational 24 hours/day, 7 days/week”.

“One of the pillars of our system is that the call center in addition to be very modern and able to manage calls flow, will have medical personnel for calls reception, which will enable them to understand the situation of the patient and to give him the first advices”.

“Our objective is that in 30 minutes, any patient anywhere in the Capital, receives the visit of a doctor able to help him”; the President of S.O.S Doctors affirmed.

The costs of the services will be accessible for the various social levels, thanks to agreements with ARS Universal and SENASA (National Insurance of Health) insurances.

Another consequence of great importance for the country will be that this service, in addition to being able to help the patients on a case-by-case basis, will make it possible to relieve congestion of the emergency rooms of the hospitals and the private clinics.

Dominican Republic Live, 29.09.08

US Commerce Secretary Praises DR-CAFTASeptiember 2008

George W. Bush and Leonel FernandezTotal value between the Dominican Republic and the US is in excess of ten billion dollars

The Secretary of Commerce of the United States, Carlos Gutierrez, revealed yesterday that the Dominican Republic is the largest trading partner of the US under the DR-CAFTA free trade program.

He said that the total value, including imports and exports between the DR and the US is in excess of ten billion dollars.

Gutierrez said that the Dominican Republic is the third largest exporter to the United States from the Caribbean, and added that, combined with Central America, the US does more business than with Russia.

The secretary said that the amount of commerce between the US and the DR-CAFTA countries is nearly the same as the US with India.

Gutierrez also referred to the fact that United States commerce with the member states of DR-CAFTA is generating a trade surplus of close to US $3.0 billion and the greatest part of that comes from the Dominican Republic due to the entry of China into the World Trade Organization.

He added that the commercial exchange between his country and the DR-CAFTA nations has reached the US $40 billion level, of which the US exports around US $22 billion. Regarding the few benefits that the Dominican Republic has had through DR-CAFTA, Gutierrez said that raw materials and parts enter with fewer taxes and this benefits commerce, small businesses and consumers.

He recognized the fact that textile exports have fallen, but the entry of China into world commerce, was previous to this, and has nothing to do with DR-CAFTA, but he hopes that the agreement brings more benefits.

The biggest benefit of the agreement is that it has attracted larger foreign investments to the Dominican Republic and Central America, and this creates more jobs.

Gutierrez added that the challenge is to diversify the economy more, in order to depend less on textiles, or to find a way to compete with China, and he recommended both activities.

He said, “I don’t want to leave the impression that DR-CAFTA is not working” .

He said that now, with the price of oil, it is cheaper to ship from this hemisphere than from China, which is an advantage, but it will be necessary to improve quality and lower costs of the textile production.

Dominican Republic Live, 30.09.08

 

 

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