Plan International is ready to respond in the Dominican Republic as Hurricane Maria lashes vast areas of the country.
Torrential rains have caused rivers and dams to reach their peak capacities. With rains likely to continue until Saturday there are serious concerns about widespread flooding and damage.
Families still vulnerable after Irma
Plan International is particularly concerned about the vulnerability of families in the north east of the country, who have felt the worst effects of Maria and were also badly affected by Hurricane Irma earlier this month.
Although Hurricane Maria is not as strong as Hurricane Irma, we fear the damage will be far greater.
“Although Hurricane Maria is not as strong as Hurricane Irma was, we fear that this time, the damage will be far greater due to incessant heavy rains,” said Virginia Saiz, Country Director for Plan International in the Dominican Republic.
“Rivers and dams are at breaking point, with some already having flooded both urban and rural communities. Over 17,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in this latest emergency, with more than half this number now being accommodated in government shelters. We are particularly concerned about the distress and disruption caused to children.
Support for families
“We are closely coordinating with the government and local authorities to determine how we can best help these families and others affected.”
The organisation is carrying out an assessment of the situation to identify the most urgent needs of the affected population.