SANTO DOMINGO – Dominican authorities said Oct. 29 that 21 people are dead and 33 others missing as a result of flooding and mudslides spurred by Tropical Storm Noel, which battered this country and neighboring Haiti with heavy rain.
Most of the fatalities were in the southeastern province of San Cristobal, whose governor, Orlando Espinosa, said that 10 people were killed and as many as 20 more are missing and feared dead.
Deaths were also reported in Haina, west of Santo Domingo, the capital neighborhood of La Cienaga, the southeastern province of San José de Ocoa and the northern town of Bonao.
Rain-driven flooding has forced nearly 3,300 people to abandon their homes, authorities said.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said early Monday that Noel would likely dump 10-20 inches of rain on the island of Hispaniola, shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti. By Monday night, Noel’s center was located roughly 80 kilometers north of Cuba, moving northwest.
Forecasters at the Miami-based U.S. National Hurricane Center put the storm’s maximum sustained winds at nearly 80 kilometers per hour, with higher gusts.