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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07SANTODOMINGO1964
2007-08-19 15:17:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Santo Domingo
Cable title:  

TFJM01 --SITREP ONE: EFFECTS OF HURRICANE DEAN

Tags:   AEMR  ASEC  CASC  KFLO  MARR  PREL  PINR  AMGT  DR  MX 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDG #1964/01 2311517
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 191517Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY SANTO DOMINGO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9010
						UNCLAS SANTO DOMINGO 001964 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AEMR ASEC CASC KFLO MARR PREL PINR AMGT DR MX
JM, XL, XK
SUBJECT: TFJM01 --SITREP ONE: EFFECTS OF HURRICANE DEAN
IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

REF: STATE 116204



1. Summary: On August 18, Hurricane Dean passed south of
the Dominican Republic causing minor damage and some
flooding in low lying areas. The Malecon road fronting
the Caribbean was closed for 36 hours due to high seas,
and three people died while watching the waves break
along the seawalls. There were some reports of flooding
along river banks and roads washing out but nothing the
GODR can not handle internally. End Summary



2. Post EAC met on August 16 for a two hour hurricane
simulation exercise to review hurricane preparation. The
comprehensive simulation covered all phases of Post
involvement in a potential disaster. The simulation
touched on the following:

a) Reviewed roles in coordinating USG relief and
rehabilitation activities.
b) Discussed the degree and types of hurricane assistance
would the host country allow.
c) Reviewed the current status of the REACT teams to
ensure that they were up to date and that a current F-
77 was available.
d) Ensured Post has current listings of local medical
resources capable of handling mass casualties in
emergency including transport, emergency room and major
surgery, and reviewed what medical support Post could
provide (manpower and supplies).
e) Reviewed the list of primary local government hurricane
relief and medical contacts.
f) Confirmed that the Embassy assigned reaction teams to
specific areas of responsibility and have sufficient 4
wheel drive vehicles and the equipment needed is in the
response kits (communications, medical, consular forms,
etc)and has emergency kits in warden residences and/or
offices with lighting, excavation tools,
communications, foodstuffs, water, etc.
g) Confirmed response personnel are trained in the use of
the equipment they are assigned.
h) Reviewed notification trees and options in the event
telephones are out of order.
i) Tested alternate means of communications the EAC has to
maintain contact with response teams.
j) Reviewed which members of the EAC were responsible for
drafting reporting telegram.
k) Discussed how Post will respond to inquiries from the
public.
l) Confirmed designations of key LES and US personnel.
m) Reviewed tripwires for Authorizied/Ordered Departure
and confirmed that the evacuation packages are ready.
n) Reviewed plans for the deployment of the ACS teams to
resort areas including where should they set up shop,
communications, flyaway kits, and designated members
for the flyaway teams.
o) Discussed the PAO and ACS roles in informing the
public.
p) Discussed the effect the hurricane would have on the
Peace Corps volunteers. Note: All 150 Peace Corps -
Dominican Republic volunteers had been put on alert
Wednesday August 15, to make preparations for the
arrival of the potential hurricane.



3. At 11 am Friday the EAC met again to review the track
of hurricane Dean. Given the projected track well to the
south, the EAC decided no further action was needed at
this time, but all members were told to remain available
should the track or other situations change. Post also
deployed a two person team to the Punta Cana area to test
alternate locations for future deployments. The Peace
Corps moved to consolidate all volunteers due the
intensification of the storm and its upgrade to Hurricane
status. The USAID/OFDA disaster response specialist
arrived and was immediately imbedded in the GODR
Emergency Operations Center (COE).



4. The acting Charg and the RSO, the Mission Disaster
Relief Officer and Management Counselor met on Saturday,
August 18 to discuss the need for another EAC. Since
there was little change in the track of the storm and
only light showers, they decided an additional meeting
was not necessary but that they would remain on alert
should conditions deteriorate. The GODR closed the
Malecon road which fronts the Caribbean due to high
waves. Embassy personnel noted seeing many Dominican
Civilians standing dangerously close to the waterQs edge
watching the 15-20 foot swells hitting the coast line.
Tragically, three people drowned when they were pulled
into the sea while venturing too close to the edge of the
seawalls. The peace corps requested all volunteers
threatened regions which were in particular danger of
landslides and flooding to move to secure locations.




5. As of 11:00 Sunday August 18 the sun is shining and
there are no reports of serious flooding or landslides,
though some low-lying areas near riverbeds were flooded
as is normal here during heavy rains. A few roads in the
Barahona and Pedrenales areas were washed out in some
areas, but again the damage was minor. Winds were gusty
in pockets during passing storm bands and some trees were
blown down but all in all damage was minimal and well
within the GODRQs ability to respond. The USAID/OFDA
disaster response specialist remains imbedded in the GODR
Emergency Operations Center (COE). The Peace Corps is
slowly returning volunteers to their sites today.

GOUGHNER