Local October 3, 2016 | 4:01 pm

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Dominican Republic evacuates 13,000 as Matthew churns

Santo Domingo.- Around 13,000 people in high-risk areashave been evacuated and taken to shelters or to the homes of relatives as HurricaneMatthew still poses a major threat of flooding, especially in the western halfof the country.

Civil Defense director Rafael de Luna on Monday said theEmergency Operations Center (COE) maintains flash flood warnings for nearly allprovinces, where as much as 50 centimeters (19 inches) of rainfall is expected,especially near the border with Haiti.

De Luna said navigation has been banned along the country’sentire coastline, as well as recreational activities on mountains, rivers and beaches,except those in the extreme eastern zone.

Authorities expect the displacement of as many as half amillion people from vulnerable areas, fleeing from Matthew’s onslaught.

The COE issued the strictest alerts for 15 provinces, whereflash floods and landslides are expected in urban and rural areas, from swelledrivers and streams.

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