Local October 25, 2012 | 7:39 am

Hurricane Sandy strengthens, drenches Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo.-The Emergency Operations Center (COE) announced the evacuation of more than 100 people and 23 houses damaged thus far, while the southern and central provinces remain under flash flooding and mudslide alerts as Hurricane Sandy strengthened to Category 2 over mainland Cuba.

COE director Juan Manuel Mendez said swollen rivers in San Juan and Barahona provinces and other areas of the Southwest damaged crops, while The National Meteorology Office forecasts the moderate to heavy downpours will continue across much of the country.

Sandy’s main bands were felt in Santo Domingo as early as 5am, with downpours expected to snarl the morning commute, while power went out at around 7am in the western part of Santo Domingo, where the Education Ministry announced the suspension of classes.

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