At least two people were killed and nearly 13,000 others were forced to evacuate their homes in the Dominican Republic due to the heavy rains from Tropical Storm Isaac, which is still affecting the country, officials said Sunday.
The bodies of two men reported missing on Saturday were found, media reports said, adding that the victims were swept away by swollen rivers.
The victims were identified as Pedro Peralta, a former mayor of the southern town of Villa Altagracia who drowned while crossing a river to get home, and Aristides Alcantara, who was found in the Yaguasa River in Santo Domingo Norte, the Listin Diario newspaper reported on its Web site.
A total of 12,889 people were forced to evacuate their homes due to the storm, but only 1,092 are in public shelters, with the rest staying with relatives and friends, the emergency management office said.
The storm damaged 864 dwellings in the Dominican Republic and left 90 towns cut off, emergency management officials said.
Rising rivers, rivers that overflowed their banks and storm surge in coastal areas cut off some towns, such as Pedernales, located in the southwestern Dominican Republic and one of the areas most affected by the storm.
Tropical Storm Isaac toppled power lines, causing blackouts in some areas, such as Monte Plata province, the emergency management office said.
Isaac also battered neighboring Haiti, where at least six people were killed.
Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to strengthen Sunday as it moves away from Cuba and the Florida Keys, and enters the Gulf of Mexico, posing a threat to a vast stretch of the U.S. Gulf coast, including New Orleans, the National Hurricane Center, or NHC, said.
The storm is expected to intensify as it veers toward the northwest and slows in the next 48 hours, gaining strength over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. EFE