The director of the Emergency Operations Center (COE), Juan Manuel Méndez, reported yesterday that the number of people mobilized in the national territory from vulnerable areas due to the floods caused by Hurricane Fiona has increased to 13,070.
The number of homes affected by the atmospheric phenomenon that hit a large part of the country last Monday also rises to 2,614.
Likewise, the director of operations of the COE, Delfín Antonio Rodríguez, said that since Monday there are 49 active shelters, two in the province of La Altagracia, where the majority of the victims remain, with a total of 548.
Offering the damage bulletin, General Méndez said that two deaths have been reported in circumstances linked to Fiona.
The first, Isidro Quiñones, was reported on Monday and the second, the young Auriely Esther Calderón, died yesterday after an electric pole fell on her in Higüey.
Regarding the electricity sector, 166 electrical circuits were affected by the winds and rains of Fiona, suspending the service to some 406,539 users.
Similarly, 1,434,802 users who received drinking water services were affected.
According to the fourth report of the COE, throughout the national territory there are 78 aqueducts out of service and three with partial damage that affected a total of 1,174,634 users.
However, the Santo Domingo Aqueduct and Sewer Corporation (CAASD) reported the failure of one of its hydraulic systems, leaving a total of 260,000 people without water service.
They will build a new bridge
The Deputy Minister of Supervision and Control of Public Works, Roberto Herrera, reported that the demolition of the bridge that collapsed in La Vega province began yesterday, amid rains and strong winds from Hurricane Fiona.
The official indicated that construction work will begin shortly on a new bridge in Pontón, in the place that gives access to the city of La Vega from the Duarte highway.
He said that on the instructions of the Minister of Public Works, Deligne Ascención, since yesterday the collapsed structure began to be demolished, through the use of heavy machinery.
“This bridge is going to be restored, the pertinent studies have already been carried out and of some 16 beams that this structure, made up of two bridges, plus an extension, is going to have, we already have nine built,” he declared.
Herrera said that this structure had been built for 27 years and presented advanced deterioration, for which Public Works immediately instructed the closure to vehicular traffic, due to the danger that the structure presented.
He explained that Public Works had foreseen that this structure would collapse, since it was more than 20 years old without the required maintenance.
“It is good to inform the country, and it is up to us that they be one of the things that can happen when 20, 30 or 40 years go by, as happens with many bridges and other structures, and the authorities on duty do not fulfill their responsibility,” he added.
He explained that the government of President Luis Abinader had to find a road park in very poor condition, but that it has not been an obstacle to giving continuity to the government.
“As we explained to the community, three months ago we asked for their understanding that traffic had to be closed, today we give them the pleasant news that since then they have been working outside of here in other workshops with the beams that are going to be form this structure,” he said.
Herrera added that the studies carried out on the bridge revealed anomalies in the concrete and the structure must be replaced to continue complying with the protocol that the technicians and companies hired for these purposes have said.
The COE lowered the alert levels it maintained for Fiona. None of the provinces is on red alert, but 19 remain yellow and 8 green.
On yellow alert are La Altagracia, Greater Santo Domingo, Duarte, Monseñor Nouel, La Vega and María Trinidad Sánchez, Hato Mayor, San Pedro de Macorís, San José de Ocoa, Puerto Plata, La Romana, Espaillat, Samaná, San Cristóbal, Sánchez Ramírez, Santiago, National District, Santiago, Monte Plata, El Seibo.