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Tourists take refuge in hotels before the effects of Hurricane Maria in Punta Cana

Tourists staying in beachfront rooms in Bavaro and Punta Cana, the main tourist focus of the Dominican East, had to take refuge last night in other areas of hotels where they stayed overnight because of the effects of Hurricane Maria.

In addition to these relocations, the authorities set up shelters in Macao and Fruisa for the inhabitants of the most vulnerable areas of this area.

In this last location, the community center, with capacity for about 80 people, mainly housed families of Haitian descent, especially women and children.

With only three days to live, a baby has lived his first hurricane in this place, where Civil Protection and Tourist Police (Cestur) moved the lodges and provided them with mattresses, food and water. An adventure for the little ones who, far from being frightened, seemed to have fun with the experience.

The father of one of them, Wilkin, told Efe, in precarious Spanish, that they had no fear, and that they had left their house in the community of Matamosquitos because the shelter is a safe place.

While the hotel closest to the airport had among its guests many tourists who saw their flights canceled, but also to the families of their employees, who refugees in the conference room spent the night doing what any Dominican in these cases, play domino.

The wind and rain whipped, especially at dawn, the windows of the establishment, all with towels at their base as small dykes, but both staff and guests have spent a quiet night.

Not so peaceful has been the evening for the guards of some businesses, mainly fuel sales stations on the margins of the Autovía del Este. At four in the morning was the worst, according to tells Angel Efe, who keeps one of these establishments.

At that time, the gigantic sign of the gas station went flying and, according to confesses, has been afraid, but luckily the worst happened and only have to lament material damages. Today will continue to monitor that no one assaults the place, which has no light and will not provide service, as most of the businesses in the area.

The luxurious housing estates where rich and famous live were not spared from the scourge of Maria, which although it did not affect any structure, was savage with the vegetation, knocking down some trees and branches of palm trees.

At dawn, the effects of Maria continued to punish Bavarian, although with less intensity. A relative truce has taken to the street the neighbors of neighborhoods that, a few kilometers from the prosperous tourist centers, have suffered much more the effects of the phenomenon, given the precariousness of a good part of the constructions.

In the so-called “Haiti Chiquito”, in the early hours of the morning there was an unusual activity, although the gusts of wind and rain have been intermittent and of different magnitude.

People on foot or on a motorcycle were going from here to there, others were just standing watching the panorama and others have set to repair damages; while some poked at sheet metal roofs torn from the wind, others cut the branches of fallen trees.

Where no one worked, it was in the ruin of an evangelical church that literally fell apart. The precarious construction of veneer and wood did not withstand the onslaught of Mary, who even overcame a small stone structure where the name of the temple is labeled.

Thus, with no personal injury to be lamented, at least in principle, Dominicans resume their lives and take to the streets despite the fact that Maria’s cloud bands insist on staying in the area, while tourists are still waiting for refugees finished passing the storm to get on an airplane or to enjoy the Dominican beaches.

Maria, now in category 3, has unleashed 68-mph wind gusts at Punta Cana.

The cyclone moves at 15 kilometers per hour in a north-westerly direction, which gradually distances it from the island of Hispaniola, which the Dominican Republic shares with Haiti, and routes it to the Turks and Caicos archipelago and then to the east of the Bahamas.

Maria Montecelos

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