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German airlines to launch flights to Caribbean

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — German leisure carrier, Condor and Lufthansa Group Eurowings, will launch flights to the Caribbean next Monday from Dusseldorf.

This follows the closure of Airberlin’s long haul routes to the regions.

Condor says it will wet lease one Airbus A330-200 on flights from Dusseldorf to Punta Cana and La Romana in the Dominican Republic, Cancun, Mexico; Montego Bay Jamaica and Bridgetown,Barbados, from November.

“We have spent a lot of effort to find a quick solution to keep air traffic ongoing for holiday-makers [to the Caribbean] and we quickly came to the conclusion that this measure is an important step to secure leisure business with the Caribbean,” CEO Ralf Teckentrup said in a statement.

Eurowings will launch services  four times weekly from Dusseldorf to Punta Cana from November 8; a weekly service to Varadero, Cuba, starting Decemeber 16; weekly service to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic  from December 14; and twice weekly service to Cancun as of December 18.

“Dusseldorf needs an attractive, cost-effective long-haul airline. We are ready to take this role,” said CCO, Oliver Wagner.

Eurowings says it will take delivery of its seventh Airbus A330-200 next year.

The A330 fleet, which is wet leased from the Lufthansa/Turkish Airlines joint venture SunExpress, operates on the Eurowings long-haul network.

Air Berlin, the insolvent German airline recently cancelled nearly all of its long-haul flights from Düsseldorf and Cologne operated by its fleet of 17 leased A330s.

Source: jamaicaobserver.com

Sep 23, 2017

23-09-17
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27 Falls of Damajagua did not suffer damages in spite of the great flood of the river

PUERTO PLATA. – In spite of fears, after the rains increased significantly the water level  in River Bajabonico, the Natural Monument – the 27 Falls of Damajagua was not damaged by the passage of Hurricane Maria.

It was reported from 11:45 am on Thursday, only slight winds and intermittent rains were recorded in the visitor center area and the river Bajabonico gradually increased its water level.

In order to avoid major situations, all the personnel of the Natural Monument the 27 Jumps of Damajagua together with a group of volunteers of the Civil Defense of Llanos de Perez, maintained a constant surveillance in the place before the hurricane came.

“Thank goodness nothing bad happened, although we were worried about the river, and if it continued to increase water level there was a possibility that it could flood the Visitor Center during the night.” – said one of the employees who work there.

Officially, it was reported that because of the rains recorded by Hurricane Maria and the great flood of the Bajabonico River, at the moment there have been no significant damages in the Natural Monument 27 Damajagua Falls, nor in the surrounding communities belonging to the municipality by Imbert.

Source: Puerto Plata Digital

Sep 23, 2017

23-09-17
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Hurricane Maria destroyed 45 homes in different locations of Puerto Plata province

PUERTO PLATA .- Hurricane Maria caused the destruction of approximately 45 houses in different localities of Puerto Plata province as it has been reported by official sources.

In the neighborhood of La Piedra in Charamicos sector of the municipality Sosúa, 35 houses were destroyed by the winds and the strong waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

Mrs. Yudelka Pineda informed that in the early hours of Thursday night she and her three children were lying in bed, when a large wave came up the cliffs and took two houses that were close to hers, resulted with the roof completely detached.

Similarly, other residents of La Piedra de Sosúa called for the intervention of government authorities because they live in a very vulnerable area and whenever there is an atmospheric phenomenon they are at the mercy of being dragged by the sea.

In addition to the 35 houses that were totally destroyed, there were other houses affected by floods and winds in the sector of the La Piedra of Sosúa. Also two houses were destroyed by the collapse of a large tree on top of the dwellings of two families. Mayor Ilanna Neumann supervised the damages and promised to help them.

Also in the sector Los Cartones de Montellano seven houses that were on the banks of the Camú River collapsed and the structure was dragged by floods.

Source: Puerto Plata Digital

Sep 22, 2017

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In Samaná some 69 houses are destroyed by the passage of Hurricane Maria

SAMANÁ. In this northeastern province, the phenomenon struck hard by leaving houses torn down or homeless, a large number of trees on the ground, and the anguish of people who lost all or almost all their belongings.

Coraima Ramón, director of Civil Defense in the province, has recorded about 69 houses that were affected in the municipality, 36 of them totally destroyed. Some fell by landslides, but most were by the force of the winds in category three.

The most affected places in Samaná were the municipalities of Las Galeras, El Limón, La Laguna, Arroyo Seco and Loma Atravesada, where several houses that had been rebuilt by INVI after the passage of Hurricane Irma, collapsed again with Maria.

Prim Pujals, a senator from the province, describes the damage as very serious, especially in agriculture, because plantations of bananas, yucca, yams were devastated.

Today, President Danilo Medina visited some of the affected areas to assess the damage and pledged, according to the senator, to build block houses in Loma Atravesada.

But the locals do not sit around waiting. In several communities people are observed cutting trees that Maria knocked over.

Brigades of the Ministry of Public Works sweep the mud left by the Malecón floods, partly produced by the sea that raised its level, and partly by the drag of a glen that empties into the sea.

Source: Detras del Rumor

Sep 22, 2017

22-09-17
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Hurricane Maria: Aftermath for Dominican Republic

While for the most part the Dominican Republic was spared the brunt of Category 5 Hurricane Maria as it moved west from Puerto Rico, the large size of the storm brought flooding and damage caused by rain bands and winds.

The forecasted path of the storm was maintained, and local forecasters also proved right. Onamet forecaster Francisco Holguin as early as Wednesday, 20 September 2017, had alerted of flash flooding given the size of the storm. He had warned the aftermath, not the storm itself would bring damage to the Dominican Republic.

Flooding, fallen trees and light posts have affected towns and cities despite the eye of the storm being well to the north of the country. Social media and WhatsApp chats have enabled many people to report and follow the effects of the storm.

The DR1 Storm Chat on WhatsApp and on the DR1 Hurricane thread on the DR1 Forums early on Thursday, 21 September 2017, with the eye exiting, warned that the southern part of the storm would be bringing lots of rain and strong winds that are still over the Caribbean Sea.

“This type of storm is not a dot on Windy [the online weather site], it is a complex system covering and affecting an area several times the size of the Dominican Republic,” alerted the resident weather forecaster, who operates a sport fishing business in Punta Cana and posts on the DR1 Forum as MikeFisher. He explained the southern part of the storm was still south of the country, thus generating the bad weather when everyone could see the eye of the storm had moved well north.

The recommendation on Thursday continued to be to stay away from flood prone areas, rivers or areas prone to mudslides through Friday, 22 September.

On Thursday, 21 September 2017, the Emergency Operations Center (COE) had declared 23 of the 32 Dominican provinces and the National District on red alert. One aging 78-year old man in Higuey municipality in the east was reported disappeared when he did not heed the advice and is known to have attempted to cross a flooding stream. Another person, identified as 32-year old Antonio Miranda, in Espaillat on the north coast, who died instantly when the roof of his dwelling collapsed during a mudslide.

Reports from Santo Domingo related that with schools, government and most businesses closed on Thursday, Santo Domingo seemed like a ghost town, with most of the public transport also stopped, including the Santo Domingo Metro. During the Hurricane, weather permitting, several Omsa government buses ran on their usual long routes with service free on Thursday. The Ministry of Education ordered all schools nationwide to remain closed on Friday.

Nevertheless, the capital city of Santo Domingo was not affected by significant power outages, as occurred in other areas of the country. A light drizzle, and occasional wind gusts reminded residents there was a storm in the neighborhood.

In Santo Domingo, social media shared videos of the Santo Domingo Country Club in western Santo Domingo that was flooded as waters of a nearby creek swept through the social club. Otherwise, in Santo Domingo on Thursday evening several fast food restaurants and restaurants (Taco Bell, included) opened with a good showing of their clientele.

From Punta Cana, tourists at hotels were relocated to second floors and areas safe from flooding for Wednesday and Thursday, while hurricane protocols were implemented. Large numbers of staff remained at the resorts when impeded to return to their homes by the storm. In some cases hotel staff waited out the storms in the conference rooms prepared for them and reportedly killed time playing dominoes.

In the East, the old Higuey to Veron road is closed to traffic as Higuey municipality and Ministry of Public Works crews help clear debris primarily from fallen trees. A key bridge on the route also collapsed and will need to be repaired. Traffic on the main Coral Highway route between La Romana and Punta Cana (including Higuey) was not affected.

Reports are of hurricane storm wind gusts, heavy rain hitting the area. The Cap Cana Marina proved to be the safe place to dock boats. Two catamarans and speedboats left at sea were said to have sunk. In populated areas, light posts and trees were down. There was a show of lots of solidarity as neighbors gathered to share a meal, and help neighbors to repair damage.

In La Romana, reports are that the Chavón River swelled and pushed a wide span of muddy water to the sea. Some signs are down in the city.

In Puerto Plata, the focus was on the erosion at Playa Alicia in Sosua and the high tide that slurped at Cabarete Beach. There are reports of flooding of the waters of Boba River and Yasica River in the north. Communities in northwestern Mao and Esperanza were also said to have been affected by flash floods and the opening of the floodgates of Tavera and Monción dams. Farms are expected to be affected by the flooding waters.

A major 16-vehicle car crash was reported on Duarte Highway on Thursday.

Source: DR1, 7dias

Sep 22, 2017

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Power outages come with Hurricane Maria

The Dominican Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE) said that power was suspended in many locations due to the effects of Maria. Several light posts were down and transformers suffered damage, causing regional power utilities to disconnect the service as a safety measure in many cases. CDEEE says this has affected hundreds of thousands customers nationwide.

The most affected areas with power outages are in the east, northeast, north and northwest parts of the country. EdeNorte said that 181,048 of its customers were without the service on Thursday, 21 September 2017. The main problem was that a high tension transmission line going from Playa Dorada to Cabarete was affected.

EdeSur reported four circuits are out of service, affecting 40,613 clients. In the eastern region, of 204 circuits, 45 were affected serving 100,000 clients. But by Thursday afternoon, 50% of service had been restored.

EgeHid reported that 40,000 persons in the south and 100,000 in the east that sourced power from hydroelectric sources were also without the service.

As reported on DR1 Hurricane 2017 Forum, the Punta Cana electricity utility CEPM rep said that 40% of the company service power service in Punta Cana had been restored, and they are working around the clock to restore the remaining areas.

As per EdeEste, reported that over 200,000 households in the East were without power, as 50+ circuits out of 200 are down, and one high tension line of 69 kV is down as well, affecting Higuey, Otra Banda, Hato Mayor, Nisibon, Miches, Sabana de la Mar, Yuma, El Seibo, Bayaguana and Monte Plata.

Power outages in the Dominican Republic are less serious than in other countries because a large number of the population has alternate power sources given that power outages are normal.

Source: DR1, 7dias

Sep 22, 2017

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New Jumbo in Puerto Plata opens on Sep 28th

Centro Cuesta Nacional (CCN) announced the opening on 28 September 2017, of the Jumbo Puerto Plata. The new 4,000 square meter superstore will be located at the Avenida Manolo Tavares Justo corner Av. Luis Ginebra in the Urbanizacion Buenaventura in Puerto Plata. The store will also offer delivery.

Madelyn Martínez, corporate marketing director, made the announcement in a promotion held at the auditorium of the UASD Puerto Plata branch.

She said the new branch will be the largest superstore in the province offering over 65,000 articles and sourcing farm products from the region. She firmly believes that the Jumbo will have a positive impact on the Puerto Plata economy with 300 new direct and indirect jobs created.

She said the chain would be attracting customers by offering frequent discount campaigns. In addition to food, the store stocks electric appliances, home furnishings, sporting goods, games, clothes, shoes, garden equipment, books and more.

Source: DR1

Sep 22, 2017

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Victims of Juncalito Catholic priest will sue

The Observatory of Human Rights for Vulnerable Groups (ODHGV) announced on Tuesday, 19 September 2017, that it would sue the Roman Catholic Church for RD$100 million for damages. The Observatory is representing six families that were victims of rape by Catholic priest Alberto Gil (Wojciech) in Juncalito.

The spokesman for ODHGB, Juan Alberto Francisco says that the sexually abused children have received legal and psychological assistance, but the Catholic Church has not dealt with the matter.

The Regional Court in Wolomin, Poland in 2015 condemned Wojciech (Alberto Gil) to seven years in jail and to pay a penalty of EUR40,000 to the victims and their families. According to Francisco, despite the instruction of Attorney General Andrzej Seremet that the funds be deposited in bank accounts of the parents of the victims, to date the payments have not been received.

Francisco, nevertheless, said the legal case seeks that the church be condemned for its civil responsibility in the case that should go beyond the economic compensation. The group demands that the Catholic Church supervise the people under its jurisdiction.

Francisco said that when they have reached out to the new archbishop of Santo Domingo, he has responded that he is not familiar with the case and will look into it. Francisco said that the Catholic Church committed in 2015 to give assistance to the victims but has not reached out to them.

Francisco said that it is not possible that after so many years, the Catholic Church is not familiar with the case.

“A team of lawyers has decided to work with the victims and their families and in the coming days we will be filing a civil liability claim for damages against the Catholic Church, to make clear that the Church not simply disassociate itself from a priest who commits this type of crime, but rather take full responsibility to address the needs of the victims and their families who have suffered,” he said.

Source: DR1, ELcaribe

Sep 22, 2017

22-09-17
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Former MLB baseball player sentenced to eight years in jail for corruption

Former Major League Baseball player turned politician, Raúl Mondesí was sentenced on 20 September 2017 to eight years in jail for mismanaging RD$300 million during his term as mayor of San Cristóbal from 2010-2016. The court presided by judge Biurkis Milanés also banned Mondesí from taking a government job for 10 years. He was also ordered to pay a fine of RD$60 million to the state.

Raul Mondesí was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1994, a MLB All-Star and a two-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner. He was known for his combination of power and speed and twice achieved the 30-30 club. He played right field for the Dodgers and the Kansas City Royals.

Also sentenced by the judge in the same corruption case with seven years in jail and fines of RD$20 million were former secretary of the San Cristóbal city government Bienvenido Araujo Japa, and former treasurer Antonio de Jesús Ferreira Guzman. Former municipal controller, Pedro Cordero Valverde was sentenced to three years in jail.

Source: DR1, Listindiario

Sep 22, 2017

22-09-17
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Ministry orders removing infrastructure less than 60 meters from the sea

The Ministry of the Environment has ordered that all infrastructure that impede free access and that are less than 60 meters from the sea, be removed. In addition, the Ministry ordered that structures any less than 30 meters from the edges of rivers, lakes, lagoons and reservoirs also be removed.

In a document dated 6 September, it instructs the deputy ministries, the provincial offices and the National Service of Environmental Protection (SENPA) to comply with the ruling.

A press release explained that the measure is based on the Constitution, Article 15 that states that sources of rivers and zones of endemic biodiversity are subject to special protection by public bodies to guarantee their sustainable management and preservation as fundamental assets of the nation.

Source: DR1, Hoy

Sep 22, 2017

22-09-17
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Last updated September 24, 2017 at 9:02 PM
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