September 21, 2004
  • DR joins 2004 hurricane hit list
  • Major cleanup efforts underway
  • Weather updates
  • Ministry of Environment publications
DR joins 2004 hurricane hit list
The Dominican Republic last Thursday, 16 September joined the long list of Caribbean countries that have been hit this summer in minor or greater degree by hurricanes affecting the area. This year, a record number of Caribbean islands have been affected. In addition to Florida, and other areas in the United States, islands in the Caribbean suffering storm damages have been Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Turks & Caicos, among others. The only good news for tourists visiting the Caribbean is that hurricanes prefer visiting in September, which gives sufficient time for destination to recover from any damage in time for the peak travel times of winter, spring and summer.
Major cleanup efforts underway
Hurricane Jeanne came at the DR as a boxer. In the fistfight for the first time several coastal destinations were affected.
The 16 September storm affected primarily the Punta Cana/Bavaro/Uvero Alto area, although an estimated 65% of the hotel rooms remained operational. The Punta Cana International Airport suffered damages, but repair crews quickly restored operation once weather conditions permitted. Several hotels in the area closed for cleanup and repair. The area should be back to normalcy by the end of October.
The Puerto Plata/Playa Dorada area rebounded quickly, suffering only minor damages. A few days were needed to cleanup Sosua and Cabarete, but these are restoring most of their services this week.
In the Bayahibe area hotels quickly resumed normal operations. Charter flights with guests headed for Bayahibe hotels, though had to be diverted to Punta Cana International Airport, given that the bridge that links the La Romana International Airport to Bayahibe suffered major damages that would take 10 days to be repaired.
La Romana’s leading resort, Casa de Campo suffered minor damages to landscaping. Teeth of the Dog and The Links golf courses, nevertheless, closed for maintenance. Dye Four remained open. The Casa de Campo Marina suffered major river waters flooding, but cleanup works proceeded rapidly to get this commercial area back in operation.
Santo Domingo hotels were not affected.
DR1 has been providing updates at http://www.dr1.com/travelnews/status.shtml
Weather updates
DR1 is providing continuous weather updates at http://www.dr1.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=34
Forecast for this week is for sunny skies, and computer models show that Hurricane Lisa, that was making its way west northwest from Africa, may keep away from the Caribbean thanks to Hurricane Karl.
Ministry of Environment publications
The Ministry of Environment has just published new informational material on the Dominican Republic. Publications include the laws and regulations governing the environment, several books on recent happenings regarding the environment, as well as a large Atlas, which is a collection of essential information, including vulnerable areas and hurricane tracks affecting the DR since the start of the past century through 2003. To contact the Ministry of Environment, see http://www.ceiba.gov.do

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