Hurricane Franklin, which hit the Dominican Republic, killed at least one person and damaged more than 500 homes, authorities said yesterday, putting 25 of the country’s 32 provinces on red alert.

The victim fell into a stream “and tried to swim” across it, the director of the emergency operations center, Juan Manuel Mendes, explained during a news conference.

The rains that started on Tuesday caused flooding and, according to the data provided by the center yesterday, 547 houses were damaged and 351 people had to leave their homes.

The day before yesterday, authorities in the Dominican Republic declared 25 of the country’s 32 provinces on red alert and ordered the suspension of all “professional and educational activities” to prevent accidents.

The storm is believed to have passed, but will continue to rain for the next few hours, according to the weather service.

President Luis Abinader has announced that the situation will return to normal from today. “Schools and all commercial and industrial businesses” will be open again, he said.

The authorities said that starting today they will assess the damage, “not only (at the level of) infrastructure but also agriculture”. They said they are studying the question of allocating resources to repair the damage and offer assistance to those affected.

Citing “torrential rains”, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said its partners were moving stocks of food and other aid close to areas where they would be needed and were working to identify “the most vulnerable families” who would need assistance.

In Haiti, which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, Haiti’s civil protection agency “released warning messages” while aid agencies moved humanitarian aid to locations from where it could be distributed, notably from Anse to Pitre (southeast), according to OCHA, which highlighted that “insecurity in affected areas” due to gang activity “may raise difficulties in access”.