Due to heavy rain and flooding over the weekend, a weather alert has been issued for 22 Dominican Republic provinces – including Punta Cana. The country’s weather agency is closely monitoring the situation and has urged residents and tourists to act cautiously and avoid flood-prone areas. A tropical disturbance is currently moving across much of the country, leading to increased precipitation, winds, and thunderstorms.
The Centre for Emergency Operations has placed 22 provinces on high alert over potentially severe weather this weekend. According to the agency, there is a high risk of flooding, flash floods, and landslides, which are especially likely in areas with high precipitation. The province of Monte Cristi is currently the only one under a red alert, indicating a high likelihood of severe weather.
Meanwhile, the remainings 21 provinces are on yellow – moderate – or green alert. Many popular tourist regions, such as Punta Cana and La Romana, are currently under yellow alert, meaning the population should brace themselves for the effects of severe weather. Other provinces on yellow alert include the capital, as well as San Pedro de Marcorís and El Seibo. A green alert – the lowest under the three-level alert system – has been given to Santiago and Puerto Plata, as well as 7 other provinces, suggesting people there should follow weather updates closely.
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The situation is better in the western parts of the country, where no weather alerts have been issued. The inland provinces of Santiago, San Juan, and La Vega are also expected to fare well, making them good choices for day or weekend trips.
The country’s national weather agency, Onamet, says that many parts of the country will see heavy rain and downpours during the weekend, including Punta Cana and Santo Domingo. Authorities have called for residents and visitors to follow weather updates and avoid venturing into flood-prone areas. Travelers should stay clear of rivers, streams, and beaches during periods of high winds, and currents may be strong.
Although the Dominican Republic is known for its year-round warm temperatures and tropical climate, periods of heavy rain can devastate entire communities. This year has been especially rainy, leading to evacuations and widespread damage to homes and other buildings.
In September, hurricane Fiona unleashed a wave of destruction across much of the country, especially in the eastern provinces, including Punta Cana. Many iconic hotels and resorts were damaged and have been temporarily closed down for repairs. Sanctuary Cap Cana, a luxury 5-star all-inclusive resort, is opening its doors in January 2023, and Zilara Cap Cana, one of the top-rated adults-only resorts in the area, is closed until mid-November.
The hurricane season is expected to come to an end by the end of the month. Earlier this year, authorities predicted that the 2022 hurricane season would be unusually active; however, hurricane Fiona has been the only tropical storm to cause widespread destruction in the country. With a few weeks left of the hurricane season, authorities are keeping a close eye on potential tropical storms.
Travelers can follow weather updates from the Dominican Republic’s Center for Emergency Operations’ Twitter page, as well as international weather services such as AccuWeather. With bad weather affecting most of the country this weekend, it’s a good idea to avoid outdoor excursions, instead opting for indoor activities such as museums, restaurants, or spas.
Resorts in the country remain well-prepared for potential hurricanes, and many large properties have drafted evacuation protocols to keep staff members and guests safe. It’s a good idea to check the weather before traveling, and visitors are encouraged to have a cancellation policy that allows them to change their travel dates in case of bad weather or a hurricane.
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