Multiple tourist areas in the Dominican Republic, including La Romana, Puerto Plata, and San Pedro de Macoris are forecasted to have heavy rain during the next week.
This comes after multiple streets in the northern towns of Arroyo Abajo and Fracatán became flooded over the past week, due to heavy downpours overflowing the Nibaje and Diablo creeks. Various household goods became damaged, and traffic became obstructed due to the evacuation of families from the flooded areas.
Experts suggest there is potential for these heavy rains to affect hotels, beach resorts and other tourist destinations in the Dominican Republic, and that any travellers arriving need to ensure they read the weather conditions upon arrival.
In La Canela, the director of the Civil Defence, Franciso Arias, reported that the overflowing of the nearby Mercier Bogaer canal also damaged multiple properties and affected a farm.
As of late, the National Meteorological Office of the Dominican Republic has predicted moderate to heavy downpours, with a high chance of thunderstorms and wind in the coming week. Areas most likely to be affected include the north and the southeast of the country, including Puerto Plata and Punta Cana.
This heavy rainfall is typical of the May weather on the island. As the climate of the Dominican Republic moves away from the sunny on-peak season between December and April, tourists visiting the Dominican Republic from May onwards are encouraged to prepare for the wet weather.
In Punta Cana alone, the rain falls for 23.8 days on average, with 75mm throughout the whole month. However, the temperature is still on average 83.3 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning it is still a suitable time to visit.
This comes after one person went missing and several hundred people were evacuated due to heavy rains in the Dominican Republic earlier this week. 17 regions in the country were placed on high alert, causing damage to households in Santo Domingo and the northern regions.
This led to civil protection officials advising residents and tourists alike to take precautions around certain areas of the island, especially when travelling near rivers and streams. This is often a high-risk scenario as the rapid downpour could cause flooding and damage properties, businesses and more.
Visitors were also reminded on Tuesday to avoid narrow passages in the country’s forests and national parks, as they could be at risk of flash floods.
Earlier this week, the National Institute of Drinking Water and Sewage in the Dominican Republic stated that 23 aqueducts were broken after various provinces were placed under meteorological alert. 17 of the country’s most populated provinces, including Greater Santa Domingo and La Romana, were placed on a Yellow Alert for moderate to severe weather conditions.
Inland regions of the Dominican Republic, including Duarte and Azua, have been placed on a Green Alert for less severe weather. However, inhabitants and tourists alike have been advised by officials to be aware of changing weather patterns as the week progresses.
Due to the effects of climate change, aspects of the rainy season have also occurred earlier in the year. In a 24-hour period from the 29th-30th of January, as many as 3,444 homes were flooded due to excess rain. This typically affected districts in the north of the country.
The heavy rain has alerted many tourists to the start of hurricane season, which typically lasts from June to September. This has occurred in the past when the weather is humid with occasional rain showers and cloudiness. However, hurricanes typically occur in September in the country, so tourists are advised to continue on their vacations without having to worry.
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