[IMG: Hurricane Georges making landfall on the Dominican Republic September 22, 1998; Credit: Dennis Chesters, Marit Jentoft-Nilsen, Craig Mayhew, and Hal Pierce, Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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Updates from the Islands
Georges - Dominican Republic

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Date: Thu, 1 Oct 1998 20:04:53 EDT
From: Wuckerm@aol.com
Subject: dr1 back up, with special tourism report

hi --
dr1 is back up, including a special puerto plata tourism report at

Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 18:28:22 EDT From: Michelle Wucker (Wuckerm@aol.com) Subject: Re: DR - Georges - Tourism Hi Gert, following are an article and a press release on the hurricane from the moderated listserv I run on the Dominican Republic --mostly political, economic, scholarly issues, especially as related to Haiti. Other good sources to refer people to are http://www.dr1.com http://www.presidencia.gov.do [...] Regards Michele Subj: Airports Resume Normal Operations as Thousands of... Date: 9/29/98 4:37:10 PM Eastern Daylight Time Airports Resume Normal Operations as Thousands of Tourists Arrive in Puerto Plata and Punta Cana SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 29, 1998--The two main international airports in the Dominican Republic began receiving thousands of tourists from the United States, Europe and Latin America shortly after their operations were resumed following a brief closure last week due to Hurricane Georges. The Civil Aeronautics Board, reported almost 7,000 tourists arrived within hours after the airports reopened, 5,470 in Puerto Plata and 1,359 at Punta Cana International Airport. Vitelio Mejia Ortiz, director of the Civil Aeronautics Board, said normal operations have resumed in Punta Cana where they are receiving LTU, Condor, Air Plus, Lan Chile, Air Transat, Air Europe, Hapag Lloyd, Tap, Chile Inter and other charter and regular flights from Europe, South America and the United States. A few hours after the pass of Hurricane Georges through Dominican territory, Puerto Plata Airport also resumed operation. On Thursday, Sept. 24, Puerto Plata received 23 international flights, including eight from Germany, seven from England, one from Brussels and one from Spain. Yesterday (Sept. 28), La Romana International Airport reinitiated service. Starting today, Las Americas International Airport, Dominican Republic's largest airport, 20 minutes from Santo Domingo City, began 24-hour- a-day operations. This airport has resumed partial operation within 72 hours of the hurricane's passing. Punta Cana, Bayahibe and La Romana tourist zones were the most affected by Hurricane Georges, according to Rafael Blanco, president of the National Association of Hotels and Restaurants (ASONAHORES). In these areas, Casa de Campo, Casa del Mar, Club Dominicus, Club Mediterranee, Natura Park and Allegro's Cabeza de Toro hotels have closed their operations for a period ranging from two weeks to three months, as is the case of Club Dominicus and Casa de Campo, respectively, Blanco said. However, all announced that their operations would be totally re-established for the beginning of the winter season. In the Bavaro-Macao/Cortecito area, the hotels sustained minor damage and all the hotels of this key tourist zone continue to offer their services and to receive tourists, added Blanco. In Santo Domingo, the main hotels reported minor damages, but all services were totally re-established within 12 hours after the hurricane. --30--cp/mi CONTACT: YP&B Cristina Alfaro, 407/875-1111 ----------------------------------------------------------- Allegro Resorts Endures Hurricane Georges SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Sept. 29, 1998-- Resorts in the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean Destinations Remain Operational Allegro Resorts, the world's largest all-inclusive resort company, survived the brunt of Hurricane Georges with only a few resorts affected and reporting damage. There have been no injuries to any guests or hotel staff. The company's properties on the Dominican Republic's North Coast in the Puerto Plata resort area, were not in Hurricane Georges direct path, and remain fully operational. According to Benny Guevara, president and CEO of Allegro Resorts, the current operating status of Allegro properties in the affected countries is as follows: The Dominican Republic North Coast (Puerto Plata/Playa Grande) -- Jack Tar Village Puerto Plata, Caribbean Village Club on the Green and Caribbean Village Playa Grande escaped Hurricane Georges wrath and are 100% operational. These resorts are currently offering accommodations to displaced guests at other Allegro Resorts affected on-island. Punta Cana -- Allegro Resort Bavaro is 95% operational with limited food and beverage service. The main structure including guest rooms are completely functional, however, the resort suffered minor damages to the common areas, roof and landscaping from wind and water. Once all guests are transferred home or to another Allegro resort, the resort will close temporarily for repairs with reopening scheduled for November 15, 1998. Juan Dolio -- Caribbean Village Decameron suffered significant damage from wind and water. The resort will close immediately for repairs and re-open in the summer of 1999.
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 22:23:30 -0500 From: Jet Air Puerto Plata (jetair.pop@codetel.net.do) Subject: Dominican Republic after Hurricane Georges Hello all of you worried about the Dominican Republic,   I'm Sylvie from Belgium, now living for 5 years in Puerto Plata. We were lucky that Georges didn't came to the north coast. But I'm very sad about what happened in the country. Friday and saturday they were collecting here in Puerto Plata money, food, clothes, etc to bring to La Vega, San Juan de la Manguana, Bonao,... I also brought clothes but I was very happy when I heard that they collected 54000 libras of clothes, around half a million in pesos, medicine and other stuff. From Punta Cana we still don't know anything, no phone communication until now is possible and it will stay like this for 1 week more. We saw today some pictures token by helicopter from Punta Cana, I actually thought the situation was worse. I think not 1 tourist died or got injured. I hope a lot of help will still arrive so that the country can start to build up again.   Greetings, Sylvie
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 21:12:10 -0400 From: Gaye Somerton de Jimenez (lanfusion@codetel.net.do) Subject: From Sosua Dear Friends: Once again we were spared in Sosua, but our thoughts and prayers are with you all in the south. Gert, we are trying to get you some information from Cuba, but can tell you that Grand Turk got nothing more than a breeze, according to our friends there. Various businesses like the ferreterias are posting notices in English as well advising that contributions can be made to the banks, the ferreterias themselves. Some businesses are doing private fund raising drives and one relief effort left Sosua last Sunday, I think for the capital. I'm a Canadian originally from Toronto and have been living here for 2 years and never did I feel prouder of a country and it's people in the face of this unbelievable disaster that I do of this wonderful country ! Most of us all pulling together here and doing what we can to help. My husband has a truck and will probably be setting off next week - I noticed on your website that Jarrabacoa hasn't received much aid. Maybe we should head there since we're closer to them. Any updates on the road conditions I get from there I will pass on - and will let you know what transpires. If anyone knows what happened in El Cercado, please pass it on. My husband and I would appreciate it. Bless you all - Gaye Somerton de Jimenez - Sosua, PP
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 18:15:17 -0300 From: Danny Stone (danny.stone@codetel.net.do) Subject: Tuesday 29 Update! Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Tuesday, September 28 We have good news to share with you today. Robby Strickland, the administrator of the Rose of Sharon Orphanage, called, and all the boys and the home are safe. He said they did not have sustained winds, only gusts, and the damage was one broken yard light.  The main structures on the property are concrete, but he said even the tin buildings did not lose one piece of tin. The bridge over the river was washed out, and a temporary dirt bridge was built today. He was able to make it into town to a phone. He also purchased food, and he said they were OK for now.   He reported that the main damage in his area came from the flooding of the San Juan river which was reportedly over 1 mile wide at the peak of flooding and covered about five sectors of the city. Several employees of the orphanage had homes in that area and lost everything when their houses filled with mud and water.   We have ordered rice, beans, bread, and bottled water today to begin helping with relief. We have contacted a number of pastors that we know and offered assistance to them for families who were hurt by the storm. We will make up these relief packets and get them to these churches and they will distribute them in their neighborhoods. Each bag will contain enough food for 2 or 3 meals depending on the size of the family. If you would like to donate toward this project your gift of $21.00 (US funds) will feed 7 families and a gift of $100.00 (US funds) will feed 34 families. We are able to put these relief bags together for $3.00 (US funds) because a Christian man who owns a supermarket is buying the food in bulk for us from the warehouse. We will be able to help 250 families with this first purchase which hopefully will be delivered tomorrow. With approx $750 of our personal funds we made this first purchase, and as donations come in we will continue to do more. If you would like to donate here is the address: Life Link / Dominican Republic P.O. Box 701884 Tulsa, OK 74170-1884   Be sure that you signify Dominican Republic on the envelope and in the memo line on your check since Life Link has projects for many different countries. Your gift is tax-deductible and 100 % of the donation wilI be forwarded to help with relief. If you need to speak with someone to obtain further information you can call 918-492-4544 or Fax 918-492-6140.  Dr. Carl Conley has also made this e-mail address available if you want to contact him in that way: TLLpres@aol.com .   Some of you have written requesting information about us and what church we are affiliated with. Here it is briefly. We have our own ministy called Living Stones Ministries, and we minister to people in the body of Christ without regard to denomination.  We carry ordination papers with Faith Christian Fellowship International Church (FCF) out of Tulsa,OK. After pioneering and pastoring churches in the states for 16 years we moved to the mission field, and we are approved missionaries with FCF. You can find out all about FCF at their web site at http://www.fcf.org , and if you want to know about the International division and Dr. Conley you can go directly to it at http://www.fcf.org/INTL.htm/ .   We have worked in the Dominican Republic since 1983 helping to build churches and orphanages, and in the summer of 1997 we moved here. In the past year we have helped to establish Faith Christian Fellowship of the Dominican Republic, and after 11 months (things move slowly here) the President signed the papers that officially registered FCF with the government as a non-profit religious organization. We have established an FCF Bible Institute to help train men and women for the ministry. Our goal is to plant churches in the more than *6000 towns and villages that do not have one. *According to survey conducted by Youth With A Mission.   When Dr. Conley joined the staff of FCF he brought his organization, Life Link, and it is now the humanitarian arm of FCF.  We have been asked to serve as consultants for Life Link to help get the organization established in this country, and a local Dominican attorney has been working for several months to register Life Link with the government so that in the future we will be able to bring in needed items duty free. Life Link will help in crisis situations such as the one we are currently experiencing, and it will also build medical clinics, vocational/trade schools, children's homes, and provide other humanitarian services.   We have found FCF, Life Link, and the leaders of the organization to be quality men and women who do things with excellence. They are people of integrity that you can put your trust in, and they have a love for all peoples of the world. We are pleased to be associated with such a fine organization.   Back to the relief effort. We have been in communication with the operations center for US relief at the United States Embassy in Santo Domingo, and they have advised us about assistance they could offer if we make arrangements for air transport. They will help coordinate the clearance for the flight to come in and help make sure that we can receive the goods for distribution. It is unfortunate, but some quantities of goods have disappeared after arriving. If we are fortunate enough to bring in goods for relief we want to make sure that it makes it to those who need it.   A pastor in Gastonia, NC e-mailed us today that he has made a contact that could possibly provide enough blankets, rice, beans, and water for a cargo load, and he is now searching for a way to transport these items.   If you have any contacts at all, please explore them. We are looking at every available option. We will keep you posted.   Danny, Denise, and Jessica Stone     THE LIVING STONES  1 Peter 2:2-5

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