Thousands have been forced to evacuate to secure areas after 48 hours of rain left about 21 people dead in the Dominican Republic, according to figures from the Emergency Operations Center in the country.
Among the storm’s victims are nine people who died on Saturday after rain caused the wall of a highway tunnel to collapse onto their cars in the capital, Santa Domingo, according to the national police.
‘Those who do not believe in climate change, start believing,’ said President Luis Abinader. Classes have been closed until Wednesday to assess the level of damage to schools and infrastructure.
The rains are expected to continue across portions of the country for the next 24 hours, as stated in a weather alert issued by the United States Embassy.
While tropical rains are common in the Dominican Republic, the rainfall observed in the last 48 hours has been the heaviest seen in the Caribbean country.
This has prompted calls for interventions and actions addressing climate change.