Local November 29, 2016 | 7:49 am

Dominican Republic flooding kill 15, US$5.0B in damage, villages cut off

Santo Domingo.- Four straight weeks of rains have killed atleast 15 people, damaged agriculture and infrastructure for around US$5.0 billionand cut off dozens of villages across the Dominican Republic, according toofficial reports.

Two swelled rivers in northern Puerto Plata provincecaused five deaths and flooded houses Sunday night, while relief officialsreport that 19,076 people have been evacuated.

Three of the five victims were members of thesame family who were swept away by the rushing waters inside their home in the communityLa Jaiba of Villa Isabela, in Puerto Plata province.

Two men also died after being dragged whiletrying to cross a swelled creek on a motorcycle in the community El Pinto, alsoin Puerto Plata.

The latest 5 deaths as the result of the downpoursin the last few weeks bring the death toll to 15, according to Civil Defense sourcesquoted by elnuevodiario.com.do. Yesterday’s flooding in Villa Isabela, PuertoPlata destroyed seven homes, and damaged 200 others.

The Emergency Operations Center (COE) reportsthat 69 communities are still cut off, as the result of damages to 14 bridgesand highways.

The disaster has forced the Government tochannel resources to affected areas, practically the country’s entire northern,northwest and northeast regions.

President Danilo Medina, who has visited theareas several times, on Monday said he was "dismayed" by the deathsand calamity in Puerto Plata.

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