Tropical Storm Bertha on Sunday brought heavy rains to the Dominican Republic, flooding several towns in the eastern part of the country and downing trees in Santo Domingo, according to a preliminary assessment by emergency authorities.

The COE emergency operations center maintained a tropical storm advisory and various states of alert in 15 provinces.

The agency said that the rains caused the Soco River to overflow in San Pedro de Macoris province, cutting off the communities of Lima, Campiña, Cabeza de Toro, Concho Primo, Atilano 1 and Atilano 2.

In addition, the COE reported that the towns of Arroyo Grande and La Cuchilla in El Seibo were cut off, while in San Cristobal seven homes were flooded in the Moscu neighborhood.

Although authorities feel that Bertha's center of organization is moving away from the country now, additional rain can still cause more flooding over the next 36 hours, and so they are maintaining a red alert for the provinces of Hato Mayor, La Romana, La Altagracia and El Seibo in the east, as well as for Samana and Maria Trinidad Sanchez in the northeast.

A yellow alert was declared for San Pedro de Macoris, Duarte, Monte Plata, the National District and the province of Santo Domingo, while five other provinces remain under a green alert, the minimum rating.

According to the latest storm advisory issued by the U.S. National Hurricane Center, Bertha on Sunday is continuing along its predicted course toward the Turks and Caicos Islands and The Bahamas.

The NHC said in its 5 p.m. storm advisory that Bertha is located some 155 km (95 mi.) southeast of the Bahamian island of San Salvador, is packing maximum sustained winds of 75 kph (about 45 mph) and is moving to the northwest at about 30 kph (18 mph).

The storm is expected to make a gradual turn to the north-northwest on Sunday night and to maintain this course until sometime Monday.

In the advisory, the NHC discontinued its tropical storm warning for the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern part of the Bahamas archipelago. EFE