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Santo Domingo.- Around 13,000 people in high-risk areas have been evacuated and taken to shelters or to the homes of relatives as Hurricane Matthew still poses a major threat of flooding, especially in the western half of the country.

Civil Defense director Rafael de Luna on Monday said the Emergency Operations Center (COE) maintains flash flood warnings for nearly all provinces, where as much as 50 centimeters (19 inches) of rainfall is expected, especially near the border with Haiti.

De Luna said navigation has been banned along the country’s entire coastline, as well as recreational activities on mountains, rivers and beaches, except those in the extreme eastern zone.

Authorities expect the displacement of as many as half a million people from vulnerable areas, fleeing from Matthew’s onslaught.

The COE issued the strictest alerts for 15 provinces, where flash floods and landslides are expected in urban and rural areas, from swelled rivers and streams.

Source: Dominican Today, http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/local/2016/10/3/60814/Dominican-Republic-evacuates-13000-as-Matthew-churns

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