Local August 28, 2015 | 6:48 am

TS Erika to hit Dominican Republic today

Santo Domingo.- The Emergency Operations Center (COE) issued red alerts for the whole country in preparation for the arrival of tropical storm Erika. At a press conference held at the National Palace Thursday, the emergency organizations said that the initial effects of the storm should be felt at around 2:00 p.m. Friday.

According to the National Meteorological Center (Onamet) director, Gloria Ceballos, Erika is expected to bring between 100 and 130 mm of rainfall per square meter, especially in the eastern and northeastern regions, and that rains are forecast to continue until Sunday.

The Civil Defense has more than eight thousand volunteers on standby to assist the public, according to its director, General Rafael de Luna Pichirilo, who added that some preventive evacuations would be carried out in some flood-prone areas. Some of these include the provinces of María Trinidad Sánchez and Santo Domingo.

He also called on citizens to reinforce their homes and only go out if absolutely necessary.

The director of the COE, General Juan Manuel Méndez, said that the authorities had instructed owners of small and medium-sized boats to keep their vessels in port, and banned the use of beaches in the north coast, as well as inland swimming spots, rivers, streams and gullies, especially in the provinces under alert.

The Ministry of Education suspended classes in the provinces that will be affected by heavy rainfall, strong wave activity and winds caused by tropical storm Erika.

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