Although hurricane Fiona devastated many parts of the Dominican Republic, including Punta Cana, authorities have largely managed to restore power across the country, and 90% of all hotels are up and running. The situation is expected to improve gradually over the coming days as workers address the most pressing issues.
Hurricane Fiona caused winds of over 120 kilometers per hour as it traveled across the eastern and northern shores of the Dominican Republic. It brought with it heavy rain, thunder, and winds that toppled trees and damaged thousands of buildings. Over 13,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes.
The hurricane was especially prominent in the country’s eastern provinces, affecting places like Punta Cana, Puerto Plata, and Samaná, some of the country’s leading tourist destinations.
Even though some resorts in Punta Cana have temporarily had to close down for repairs, around 90% of all hotels are operational. Despite Punta Cana being declared a disaster zone, most hotels withstood the hurricane’s strong winds. Most damage has been limited to toppled trees, as well as outdoor areas such as pools and public beaches, where objects have been flung around.
In a recent visit to the area, Dominican President Luis Abinader noted that most hotels are able to continue operating normally and that repairs are actively being carried out.
For the time being, energy shortages continue to plague parts of Punta Cana, and some 80% of consumers have reported blackouts since the hurricane battered the eastern parts of the country. According to the President, fully restoring power may take up to nine days, although many consumers are already connected to the grid.
The most affected locations, such as Higuey, are expected to be fully powered up by Friday. Fortunately, most hotels and resorts have backup generators which can be deployed during storms and hurricanes.
In a recent overview of the situation, Asonahores, the National Association for Hotels and Tourism, says that the outlook looks good for the hospitality industry. Overall, Punta Cana has more than 40,000 hotel rooms available, and in Samaná, despite being one of the hardest hit areas, most hotels are also fully open.
There are some notable exceptions, such as resorts in Cap Cana, one of Punta Cana’s top luxury resort districts. “There are cases where hotels have reported damage affecting superficial structures, as a result of which they decided to close down for repairs”, according to the association’s president. Meanwhile, hotels are working with local officials to provide guests with as much help as possible, including offering temporary shelter.
Sanctuary Cap Can has reported significant damage to parts of its premises and is currently closed for repairs. Secrets Cap Cana is another resort that is off-limits for the time being. Both resorts are expected to remain closed until September 30, giving workers enough time to clear up any debris and fix damaged amenities. Hilton La Romana is also temporarily closed until the end of the month. Karisma’s Margaritaville is currently the only resort that is fully open in the Cap Cana area.
A ban on public beaches and outdoor recreational activities – including tours and excursions – has been lifted. The measure, in effect during the hurricane, was removed on Monday. Visitors can once again access some of the Caribbean’s finest white-sand beaches in Punta Cana. However, rain is still expected in parts of the country this week, and beachgoers are asked to act cautiously.
The central and western regions of the Dominican Republic, including the capital Santo Domingo, Santiago, and Pedernales, were less affected by hurricane Fiona. Visitors to Pedernales can find some of the country’s top nature attractions, whereas Santo Domingo is a great choice for history and city lovers.
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