|03SANTODOMINGO5118||2003-09-22 21:41:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Santo Domingo|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SANTO DOMINGO 005118
1. At 12:45 a.m. on September 22, an earthquake measuring 6.5
on the Richter scale struck the Dominican Republic
approximately nine miles south of the resort town of Puerto
Plata and 12 miles north of the interior city of Santiago.
No AmCit deaths or injuries have been reported by the US
Consular agent in Puerto Plata or other sources. Embassy
contacts and local media are reporting two local deaths due
to heart attacks but "many" injuries.
2. Two hospitals in the northern part of the country have
been evacuated so that officials can assess the structural
damage to the buildings. Schools in Santiago, Puerto Plata
and San Francisco de Macoris are closed, and many offices and
businesses in the region are closed. Damage to the highway
between Puerto Plata and Santiago is being assessed by local
public works employees. The Carol Morgan School in Santo
Domingo, attended by many Mission children, reported no
damage or injuries.
3. Our contacts in the affected region report major damage to
some buildings in Puerto Plata, including partial collapse of
the second story of a government bank; damage to the "old
pier" putting it out of service for the time being; and
cracks in an airport terminal serving American Airlines,
which has canceled all flights. A "new pier" is still
available for vessels putting into the port. A few
houses/places of business in both cities collapsed or
suffered major damage, and more buildings sustained cracks or
other damage to walls, awnings, and billboards. The tremor
awakened many people in Santo Domingo, knocked some pictures
off walls and some items off shelves.
4. Several aftershocks, one of which registered 5.1 on the
Richter scale, were felt in the early morning hours.
Officials are warning that aftershocks may continue. An
emergency number for the Red Cross emergency center is being
broadcast on local radio and television stations