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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 May, 2004, 10:36 GMT 11:36 UK
Press solidarity with flood victims
Grave of a Dominican Republic flood victim
Crosses dot the Jimani landscape

Leading newspapers in the Dominican Republic have called on the government to take urgent action to alleviate the suffering of the flood victims.

A number of editorials have pointed to the fact that many of the deaths occurred in areas affected by poverty, without suggesting the authorities were to blame for the tragedy.

Global warming is also cited as a contributor. In neighbouring Haiti, press web sites have not been seen to update to reflect the
A town laid low by deep-seated poverty
Listin Diario

Santo Domingo's Listin Diario carries a front-paged headline: "85 die in Jimani as river bursts banks". The caption to a picture of the victims' families shows them "crying inconsolably".

Describing it as "a town laid low by deep-seated poverty", the paper's editorial continues: "What occurred in Jimani must serve as a lesson for us in humanity's fragility, showing that implacable death can come when least expected."

"Tragedies like this fill us with the deepest pain... It is hoped that the government will act with alacrity to send aid to the survivors."

"Jimani, a distant town almost unknown to the majority of Dominicans, requires all the active solidarity possible from all of us, including the central government and its diverse branches."

'Trail of tragedy'

For Hoy, the flooding "has left a trail of tragedy and mourning in the country".

"Jimani is one of the poorest provinces in the country and this catastrophe has only worsened its people's living conditions."

Faced with this huge calamity, indifference would be shameful. The government and the nation must pull out all the stops
El Nacional

Hoy calls for Jimani to be declared a disaster zone, and, warning that floods bring illnesses and epidemics, also calls on the authorities "to initiate as soon as possible a vaccination programme for children and adults".

Recognising the floods could be part of the global warming process, Hoy nevertheless points out the need "to reflect on the danger of certain locations".

"It's difficult to pull through a tragedy like that of Jimani," says an editorial in El Nacional, recalling that the last major natural disaster to hit the country was Hurricane George in 1998.

"Faced with this huge calamity, indifference would be shameful. The government and the nation must pull out all the stops to provide aid.

Pulling together

"Every good Dominican has the obligation to extend his hand to those who have suffered this horrible drama of death and misery."

Crying out for humanitarian aid
El Caribe

A headline in the English-language Santo Domingo News speaks of the "Macabre tragedy near Jimani".

El Caribe has "Jimani crying out for humanitarian aid".

"The tragedy which the country mourns has triggered a national solidarity movement among distinct social sectors, offering tinned food, beds, medicines, new and second-hand clothes, shoes and money."

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

The BBC's Claire Marshall
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