- Title: Dominican Republic raises alert level as Matthew turns into a hurricane
- Date: 29th September 2016
- Summary: SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (SEPTEMBER 29, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY OFFICE FLAGS OUTSIDE NATIONAL EMERGENCY OFFICE
- Embargoed: 14th October 2016 19:17
- Keywords: Tropical storm Matthew
- Location: SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC/ INTERNET
- City: SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC/ INTERNET
- Country: Dominican Republic
- Topics: Environment,Weather
- Reuters ID: LVA00151ME0JN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Parts of the Dominican Republic are under alert as the U.S. National Hurricane Centre (NHC) confirmed on Thursday (September 29) that Tropical Storm Matthew had strengthened into a hurricane.
Matthew is located about 190 miles (300 km) northeast of Curacao, and is moving towards the west at 17 miles per hour (28 km/h), the Miami-based weather forecaster said, whilst the Dominican Republic's National Office of Meteorology (ONAMET) said effects would be felt through much of the Caribbean country in the coming days.
"We are in a targeted area where rain and wind associated with the (hurricane) will be felt. Winds away from the centre will reach up to 300 kilometres (186 miles), such that if the (hurricane) is located at 200 to 300 kilometres (124 to 186 miles) from us in the next few days, tropical winds will be felt in the south, along the border zone and above all along the Caribbean coast," ONAMET representative, Francisco Holguin, told reporters in Santo Domingo.
Restrictions were placed on the use of ports and beaches around the country, Juan Manuel Mendez Garcia of the Emergency Operations Centre said.
"A green alert has been confirmed for Azua, Peravia, San Cristobal, San Jose de Ocoa, Pedernales and Barahona. A restriction has been upheld such that all vessels must be held in port across the country's entire coast, whilst the use of beaches is also prohibited. We ask the population not to take any risks, to follow closely the ONAMET´s meteorological alerts, which is the only technical-scientific organism in the country which can speak to the population regarding the development and evolution of this event," said Garcia.
Matthew, the 13th cyclone of the 2016 Atlantic season, caused airports to be closed in tourist hotspots of Barbados and St Lucia on Wednesday, and brought flooding and felled trees to islands in the eastern Caribbean.
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