AMERICA/DOMINICAN REP. – The destruction caused by the torrential rains and impetuous winds of Hurricane Fiona
AMERICA/DOMINICAN REP. – The destruction caused by Hurricane Fiona’s torrential rains, and gusty winds
Santo Domingo – Hurricane Fiona caused severe damage to Puerto Rico and at least two deaths on Sunday, September 18. It then struck the Dominican Republic coast two days later and put out the island’s electricity plants. More than a thousand people were without electricity, and 200 000 without water. There were many other effects, including blocked roads, landslides, tree falls, damaged trees, and the loss of power lines.
One person has been injured by strong winds and one has lost their life in the hurricane that has struck the Dominican Republic’s northeast and east. According to a provisional report of the local Caritas, released by CELAM, 54 homes have been damaged, 798 people have been relocated to safe areas, 38 shelters have been set up to accommodate 723 people, four international airports are closed and the Nagua-Sánchez highway it is blocked by falling trees. The school year has been delayed and university education suspended. Additionally, significant damage has been done to the tourism sector and agricultural sector. These will be evaluated when conditions permit. The damage is much more extensive than has been reported, and further information is being collected.
Pope Francis, through the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, has sent a telegram of solidarity to Monsignor Rubén González, president of the Episcopal Conference of Puerto Rico, and to Monsignor Freddy Bretón, president of the Dominican Episcopal Conference, after the passage of the hurricane.
“The Holy Father is deeply disturbed to learn of the natural inclemencies which have hit the island in the recent hours because of Hurricane Fiona,” reads the telegram. The Pope is saddened at “the unfortunate loss in human life, as also by the many victims and material damage”, and requests that the entire Christian community and all people of goodwill increase their solidarity to assist those affected by this disaster.
According to the most recent Statistical Yearbook of the Church Puerto Rico has 3,195,000 residents, of which 2,706,000 are Catholics. The Dominican Republic has 10,448,000 people, of which 9,941,000 are Catholics. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 22/9/2022)