Tropical Storm Franklin makes landfall on Haiti and Dominican Republic

23 August 2023, 13:24

People walk through a flooded street in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic Tropical Weather. Picture: PA

Haitians were urged to stock up with water, food and medication as authorities checked on some of the 200,000 people displaced by gang violence.

Tropical Storm Franklin made landfall on the island of Hispaniola, shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti, on Wednesday, bringing fears it would trigger deadly landslides and heavy flooding in both countries.

Franklin was expected to swirl above the island for most of Wednesday, with forecasters warning the storm could dump up to 10in (25cm) of rain, with a maximum of 15in (38cm) for the central region of Hispaniola.

On Wednesday morning, the storm was centred about 105 miles (170km) west-south-west of Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, according to the National Hurricane Centre in Miami. It had maximum winds of 50 mph (85 kph) with higher gusts and was moving northward at 10 mph (17 kph). It made landfall along the country’s southern coast near Barahona.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Harold weakened into a tropical depression on Tuesday night after making landfall in South Texas, bringing strong winds, rain and leaving thousands of homes without power.

In the Caribbean, officials were most concerned about Franklin’s impact in Haiti, which is vulnerable to catastrophic flooding given the country’s severe erosion.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry urged Haitians on Tuesday to stock up with water, food and medication as authorities checked on some of the more than 200,000 people displaced by gang violence, with some living on the streets or in makeshift shelters.

Some recalled that a powerful thunderstorm that unleashed heavy rain one day in June left more than 40 people dead across Haiti.

In the Dominican Republic, officials closed schools, government agencies and several airports with at least 24 of the country’s 31 provinces under red alert.

Dominican Republic Tropical Weather
People walk through a street flooded by rain from Tropical Storm Franklin in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (Ricardo Hernandez/AP)

Flooding had already been reported on Tuesday in Santo Domingo and beyond, where residents prepared for heavy rain.

“We’re scared of the river,” said Doralisa Sanchez, a government employee who lives near the Ozama River that divides the capital and has had to flee her home three times during previous storms.

She hoped Franklin would not force her to seek shelter and temporarily abandon her home because she said people steal belongings left behind.

Others, like businesswoman Albita Achangel, feared they have nowhere to go if the waters start rising.

“We are hoping for God’s will,” she said, adding that her patio is already flooded.

The storm worried thousands of Dominicans who live in flood-prone areas.

“When two drops of water fall here, this suddenly becomes flooded,” said Juan Olivo Urbaez, who owns a small business in a community near the Ozama River.

Dominican Republic Tropical Weather
A man stands under a roof drain as rain from Tropical Storm Franklin falls on Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (Ricardo Hernandez/AP)

A tropical storm warning was in effect for the entire southern coast of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, as well as the entire northern Dominican coast. A tropical storm watch was posted for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Franklin is the seventh named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. An eighth named storm, Gert, dissipated on Tuesday.

On August 10, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration updated its forecast and warned that this year’s hurricane season would be above normal.

Between 14 and 21 named storms are forecast. Of those, six to 11 could become hurricanes, with two to five of them possibly becoming major hurricanes.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Flowers next to a portrait of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny

Alexei Navalny’s mother says she is resisting pressure to agree to secret burial

The Alabama Supreme Court

Second Alabama IVF provider pauses parts of programme after frozen embryo ruling

People mourn the death of miner Santiago Mora

Families mourn miners killed in Venezuela’s worst mining accident in years

Alexei Navalny's mother says she is being 'blackmailed' by the Kremlin

Alexei Navalny’s mother ‘blackmailed’ by Kremlin with threat to 'do something' to the corpse of Putin's arch enemy

Vladimir Putin

Putin takes co-pilot’s seat during flight of nuclear-capable bomber

Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli strike on residential buildings and a mosque in Rafah

Gaza air strikes leave at least 48 people dead, health officials say

The ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbon docked at the Southampton port on Thursday.

Five Nato warships call in at UK port ahead of alliance's largest exercise since the Cold War

Bobi poses for a photo with his Guinness World Record certificates

Guinness World Records annuls ‘oldest dog ever’ title for dead Bobi

Volkswagen badge

More than 261,000 cars in US recalled by Volkswagen amid fuel leak fears

A Polish border guard gives instructions as drivers wait to cross the border into Ukraine at Medyka

Polish PM makes border crossing pledge after blockades by farmers

Police and ambulances at the scene of the attack in Wuppertal

Four pupils injured after stabbing attack at school in Germany

(Main image) Davies (L) and Baird (R) were last seen on Monday. (Right)  A picture posted on Instagram by the couple four days ago

Police launch hunt for missing TV presenter amid fears he was ‘being stalked by cop ex-lover’

Sebastien Lecornu

Russia threatened to shoot down French flights, defence minister claims

X, formerly known as Twitter, has been blocked in Pakistan

Social media users in Pakistan hit as regulators block X

Czech farmers in tractors make their way to the Hodonin/Holic border crossing

Tractor protest against EU agricultural policies held by Czech farmers

Jayden Archer with fiancee Beth King (l)

Motocross superstar dies aged 27 while trying ‘world’s most dangerous trick’