Hundreds feared dead in Caribbean floods

Around 100 people died when floods unleashed by torrential rains swept through a small farming town in the Dominican Republic, officials said.

National Emergency Commission Director Radhames Lora Salcedo said some 150 or more people were still missing, feared dead.

Rains drenched the agricultural town of Jimani early yesterday, forcing the Solie River to burst its banks. Only debris-filled mud and scattered clothes remained where dozens of houses once stood.

As relatives sloshed through mud and searched for loved ones, workers dug bodies out from the mud. Some cadavers lay along the main road.

People wandered streets littered with fallen trees and power cables. Ambulances queued to pick up the dead.

Officials were using the electrical generator room of the town hospital as a morgue because the actual morgue was destroyed by floodwaters. Rescue teams kept arriving with more bodies.

"They found my daughter. Now I have to see if I have some family left," said Elena Diaz, 42, sobbing in a long line outside the morgue where she went to look for her son-in-law and three grandchildren.

She said her daughter's house was swept away by the river, which tore through the neighbourhood in the western town near the Caribbean country's border with Haiti. Few houses were left. Many were destroyed or swept away.

Farmer Jose Altagracia Perez said he was in his house at around 3am local time yesterday when the water began to rise, leaving little time for action.

"The house is all gone. The river came and took everything. Now I don't have anything," said the 60-year-old, waiting in line outside the morgue and looking for his three-year-old son.

The raging water carried victims away, and bodies were found up to six miles downstream, said Maximo Noves Espinal, a rescue worker.

"We're recovering bodies. We'll be at it all night," he said.

At sea, a Guyanese-registered freighter sank off the north coast of the Dominican Republic early yesterday, leaving one man dead, officials said. The Dominican Navy said the crew attributed the sinking to rough weather and a heavy load of cement blocks aboard the 160ft Family Island Express.

Ofilio Perez of Nicaragua was found dead in the water. Four of the ship's crew were rescued, officials said.

On land, the weather struck most fiercely in Jimani, a Dominican town surrounded by sugar cane fields just east of the border with Haiti and around 110 miles) west of the capital, Santo Domingo.

Elsewhere in the Caribbean country, 30-year-old Nelson de Jesus and 31-year-old Cristian Ramos were caught in an overflowing river late Sunday and died in northern San Francisco de Macoris, officials said.

Another man, 27-year-old Delervin Castro, was fishing off the coast Sunday in northern Sanchez when he was swept away by strong currents, officials said.

At least 450 homes were flooded throughout the country and at least 14 small towns had power outages and toppled phone lines, Lora Salcedo said.

In the neighbouring US territory of Puerto Rico, searchers found the body of 24-year-old Miguel Valle Ortiz, who had disappeared Sunday after he fell off a small boat when it tipped over in a flooded lagoon, officials said. A friend who was with him escaped to safety.

Some areas of Puerto Rico saw up to 8ins of rain over the weekend, according to the US National Weather Service.

Heavy rains persisted through the day in some areas, leaving small towns and roads flooded in the western Dominican Republic.

The rains also drenched parts of Haiti, which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. To the east in Antigua and Barbuda, thousands of students stayed home yesterday as classes were cancelled.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face
books
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' is based on historical events
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
filmSir Ian McKellen will play retired detective in new film
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sales Perfomance Manager. Marylebone, London

£45-£57k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

Sales Manager (Fashion and Jewellery), Paddington, London

£45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

Marketing Manager

£36000 - £38000 per annum: Charter Selection: Charter Selection are working wi...

Accounts Assistant, Hammersmith

£25000 per annum: Charter Selection: Exciting sports company with a strong bra...

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil