Local May 19, 2023 | 4:48 pm

Earthquake damages educational centers in Puerto Plata Dominican Republic, prompting infrastructure concerns

Infrastructure damage has been reported in several educational centers in Puerto Plata following a 5.2-magnitude earthquake that occurred early Thursday morning. The Ministry of Education stated that minor cracks appeared in some schools, exacerbating existing ones in others. The Oscar Sosa school in the Las Avispas community experienced increased cracks in its perimeter wall, while a small crack was observed in a pavilion at Llanos de Pérez High School. At the primary and secondary school campus in Cabía, small cracks, both new and old, were identified. Similarly, in the Vuelta Larga de Imbert school compound, new cracks emerged and existing ones worsened, posing a risk to students and teachers.

Structural technicians have recommended relocating two grades housed in the affected areas to other spaces. They also advised addressing surface cracks in other centers to prevent potential hazards. Sarah Cruz, an official from the Ministry of Education in Puerto Plata, reassured me that these issues will not disrupt the teaching process. Detailed reports on the cracks have been submitted to the School Buildings department for necessary repairs.

The earthquake occurred at 4:35 am in the province of Puerto Plata, with its epicenter 17 kilometers from the Altamira region at a depth of 10.8 kilometers.

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