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Hurricane Irene killed 4 in Dominican Republic


13:39, August 25, 2011

Local residents cut a damaged tree after Hurricane "Irene" hit Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, on Aug. 23, 2011, after the passage of Hurricane Irene. Authorities of the Dominican Republic and Haiti on Sunday issued a red alert over tropical storm "Irene", warning it can reach hurricane strength. (Xinhua)

SANTO DOMINGO, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- Hurricane Irene have killed at least four people and left an unknown number of others missing in the Dominican Republic, said the authorities on Wednesday.

Irene, the first major hurricane of the season in the Caribbean, killed three people in San Cristobal, about 30 km southeast of the capital Santo Domingo. The fourth person died in El Seibo, 135 km east of the capital.

Around 31,900 people have been evacuated to safer places.

Several villages were left isolated and rescue teams have been sent there.

"Irene's worst effects will continue during the next 24 to 36 hours, due to the heavy rains," Juan Mendez Garcia, director of the Emergency Operations Center, told a press conference.

By Wednesday noon 2,292 houses have been damaged in 85 villages which had been cut off from regular transport and communication networks, he said.

Mendez added that 24 provinces will maintain a red alert for at least another 24 hours while the rest of the country will hold the yellow alert.


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