San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Tornado Injures 36 in Dominican Republic

DAJABON, Dominican Republic – Thirty-six people were injured last week when a tornado tore through the Dominican Republic’s Dajabon province, damaging 30% of the buildings in the region’s like-named capital city, officials said.

A state of emergency was declared in the province, which is on the border with Haiti, after the tornado hit at 5:30 p.m. May 8.

Of the injured, only one man was reportedly seriously hurt and was taken to a hospital in Santiago, officials said.

Fifteen soldiers stationed on the Dominican Republic-Haiti border were also injured. Four of the soldiers remain hospitalized  in stable condition, while the rest were treated and released, the army said.

Dozens of trees and electrical pylons were toppled by the tornado, which cut off roads in Dajabon city.

President Leonel Fernández responded May 9 by ordering the distribution of 10,000 food rations and repairs for all the dwellings damaged by the tornado, provincial officials said.

“What happened around here was a real disaster; we’ve got a difficult situation, but we are helping all the affected families,” said Dajabon Mayor Sonia Mateo.

Dajabon province Governor Arturo Socias announced that assistance would be provided to families affected by the tornado in the towns of Clavellina, Aviacion and Lajas, where dozens of homes were destroyed and floodwaters swamped farmland.

Officials estimated that about 70% of the power grid in the area was put out of commission by the tornado.

Civil Defense teams, soldiers, firefighters and employees of a score of cities in the northwest are working to clear downed trees, pylons and rubble in the wake of the tornado.

Haitian volunteers have pitched in and helped take part in the clean-up efforts, according to authorities.


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