More than a million people without drinking water after tropical disturbance
Santo Domingo.- Four days after a tropical disturbance caused widespread damage in the Dominican Republic, over a million people in Greater Santo Domingo, San Cristóbal, Azua, and Duarte remain without access to drinking water. The National Institute of Drinking Water and Sewers (Inapa) reported that 66 of their aqueducts are still inoperative, affecting 1,015,924 users. The Santo Domingo Aqueduct and Sewer Corporation (Caasd) managed to restore service in three of its four affected aqueducts, except La Isabela.
The closure of Inapa’s aqueducts has impacted citizens across numerous provinces including Sánchez Ramírez, Duarte, Samaná, María Trinidad Sánchez, San José de Ocoa, San Cristóbal, Peravia, Azua, Barahona, Bahoruco, Independencia, Pedernales, San Juan, El Seibo, La Altagracia, Monte Plata, Hato Mayor, and San Pedro de Macorís. Both Inapa and Caasd have active brigades working to restore normal service in the systems impacted by the torrential rains.
The Emergency Operations Center (COE) reports that the disturbance, which brought a record 431 millimeters of water in 24 hours, resulted in 25 confirmed deaths, with field work by Diario Libre suggesting up to 30 fatalities. Twenty-two families lost their homes, 7,412 homes were affected, and 14 suffered partial damage. In response to the floods and soil saturation, 37,060 people moved to safer areas, and 965 are using the nine shelters set up by Civil Defense.
Electricity service has also been affected, with 1.62% of users experiencing interruptions. Electrical companies (Edes) have repaired most affected circuits, leaving only 16 branch circuits out of service.
The Ministry of Public Works is awaiting the receding of floods to assess damage to roads and bridges. Currently, 45 communities are cut off due to damage to eight roads and five bridges. Traffic on the 27 de Febrero Avenue tunnel overpass is suspended in the east-west direction following a deck collapse that caused nine fatalities.
With the reduction in rainy activity, the COE has lowered alert levels in several provinces. The National Institute of Hydraulic Resources (Indrhi) reports that dams are receiving significant inflows, with Sabana Yegua dam in Azua reaching 78.99% of its storage capacity.
In Santo Domingo Norte, Mayor Carlos Guzmán reported that 13,212 families in the Los Macos sector were affected. He emphasized the need for unity and has provided mattresses, food, and essential items, along with medical and psychological care to the affected residents. Sanitation and repair efforts are ongoing in various sectors.