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Daily News - 16 November 1999

Lenny moves further away from DR
Hurricane Lenny has moved further east prior to its expected turning to the northeast. This is good news for the DR, as it means it could pass further south, thus bringing less rain and winds.
On Monday afternoon and evening, city residents packed supermarkets as part of preparations for the hurricane. The government began to implement its hurricane emergency plan, with General José de los Santos Sánchez, chief of the Civil Defense, as the leading spokesman for the plan.
As a precaution, school was called off in the south and eastern provinces where the rainstorms may be felt. The dam reservoir levels are being lowered to make way for the 100-300 millimeters of rain that is expected. After many were caught unprepared for Georges in September 1998, Dominicans are more prone to take hurricane warnings more seriously. The Listín Diario showed photographs of Mesopotamia residents moving their belongings, just in case. That area was buried by mudslides in the aftermath of Georges.
General de los Santos said that the 1,400 refugee centers in the DR will not be opened until an alert bulletin or orange alert is issued by the Weather Department.
It only rained for about an hour on Monday evening, and at mid-day it was barely raining, although there were cloudy skies in Santo Domingo.
Now, at most, more rains are expected, with their consequences. Heavy rains in the city of Santo Domingo and the rest of the DR have saturated the ground after almost two weeks of afternoon rains.
Hoy newspaper reports that a two-year old girl was buried by a mudslide in the low-income area of Los Minas in Santo Domingo. Another two-year old died when one of the walls of her block house in the Herrera low income area in Santo Domingo fell on her as a result of another mudslide.
These rains have nothing to do with the hurricane, which is still too far from the DR. At 10 am AST, the center of the hurricane was located near latitude 15.3 north, longitude 60.8 west. It continues to move toward the east at near 26 km/hr, 16 mph. It is moving east at about 24 km/hr (15 mph) and a gradual turn to the northeast is expected in the next 12-24 hours. The turn to the northeast should be monitored closely.
Maximum sustained winds are near 160 km/hr (100 mph). Some strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours, but by then it will be past the Dominican Republic.
Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 230 kms or 145 miles, so if it maintains its present course, these will not affect the DR. The hurricane is about 400 kms. south of the city of Santo Domingo.
The US National Hurricane Center has advised that a tropical storm warning remains in effect for the south coast of the Dominican Republic. The Center will issue an intermediate advisory at 2 pm AST followed by the next complete advisory at 5 pm AST.
Note that Intellicast track chart has removed the huricane watch and tropical storm warning around the DR. See
http://www.intellicast.com/Tropical/World/UnitedStates/HurTrack1/
To further monitor the hurricane, some other good links with information (news stories) are:
http://www.weather.com/weather_center/trop_season/
http://www.usatoday.com/weather/huricane/images/atlantic_track_lenny.htm
http://www.gopbi.com/weather/storm/atlantic/lenny.html
http://www4.nlmoc.navy.mil/data/atcf/al161999.gif
http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/at199916.html

President Fernández says business will topple Cuban trade embargo
President Leonel Fernández said in Cuba, during his visit there, that the economic blockade against Cuba will have to be overcome in the near future not only for altruistic reasons and solidarity, but essentially because of economic and trade reasons. "The industrial powers are going to want access to the Cuban market and on that base they are going to pressure so that the blockade be dismounted," he said. during a conference before authorities, professors and students at the Universidad de La Habana.

Presidents Preval and Fernández to meet in Cuba
The Listin Diario highlights that the presidents of Haiti and the Dominican Republic will hold informal conversations in Havana, where both have traveled to attend the Ninth Iberoamerican Summit. Heads of state from Spain, Portugal and Latin American countries are participating. Summit host, President Fidel Castro of Cuba invited the heads of state of Haiti, President Rene Preval, and President Jules Wijdenbosch in representation of the Caribbean Community, to participate as observers.
President Rene Preval recently complained when the Dominican government stepped up deportations of illegal Haitians. The migration of Haitians to the DR serves to reduce the economic and social pressure within Haiti.
The Listín Diario reports that the ministers of foreign relations of both countries already met in Havana, and the statesmen are expected to do so today. The Haitian and Dominican statesmen are lodged in neighboring Havana mansions.
But President Fernández told Hoy newspaper that, "There is nothing formal set between President Preval and us." He acknowledged they would meet as part of activities planned during the summit, but "we do not have a meeting planned or programmed in a diplomatic manner," he said.

National Budget Bill sent to Congress
The Executive Branch sent the National Budget Bill to Congress yesterday. The bill amounts to RD$50,366.4 million and is 12.7% more than last year's RD$44,671.7 million. Of the total, RD$33,828 million is for current expenses and RD$16,538 million (32.8%) for investments.

Best basketball clubs to meet in DR
The Sixth Panamerican Tournament of Best Clubs opens in Santo Domingo tomorrow afternoon at 6 pm. The event will last through 21 November. The event will take place at the Sports Palace of the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center. Julio Subero, president of the Dominican basketball federation, said that the Weather Department has cleared the way for the celebration of the event. Clubs from Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, Honduras and the Dominican Republic will participate in the event. The games will be telecast to the Americas by ESPN. Games will take place at 2 and 4 pm, 7 and 9 pm. On Saturday and Sunday, there will be games at 11 am, 1, 5 and 7 pm. Tickets are RD$30. Some games will be held at the Polideportivo of San Pedro de Macorís, near Juan Dolio. The participants in the event are staying at the Hotel Don Juan of Boca Chica.

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