Heavy rains have hit the Dominican Republic over the past 48 hours, killing at least 21 people, including 3 minors, authorities announced Sunday.

Four of the people who died in separate incidents were US citizens and three others were Haitian nationals, according to the Center for Emergency Operations (COE). Almost all of the country’s provinces (30 out of 32) remained on alert yesterday, according to the authorities.

Nine of the 21 deaths were recorded on Saturday night when a wall collapsed on vehicles on 27 February Avenue, one of Santo Domingo’s main thoroughfares.

The Ministry of Public Works announced that an “investigation” is being conducted into this incident.

Nine other people died in separate incidents in the capital, including when part of a house collapsed.

A man was swept away by a torrent in the province of San José de Ocoa (south), two other people died in a similar incident in the province of La Altagracia (east).

About 13,000 people were rushed out of danger zones, according to the COE.

Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader spoke during a press conference about the “heaviest rainfall ever recorded” in the Caribbean country. He announced that the operation of schools and universities will be suspended from the day after tomorrow Wednesday, in order to “guarantee the safety of children and young people”.