Hurricane Fiona leaves millions without power in Puerto Rico, generates ‘catastrophic floods’ – 9/18/2022

Storm made landfall near Punta Tocón in the southwest of the island, and the US National Hurricane Center warned of flash floods in the Dominican Republic.

Tropical Storm Fiona became a hurricane on Sunday (19/9) and caused a general blackout in Puerto Rico, affecting more than 3.3 million people.

The information was released by the company responsible for electricity transmission Luma Energy, which announced that the full restoration of the service “may take several days”.

The electric company explained that the system was disconnected when the winds reached 140 km/h.

Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico on Sunday along the southwest coast, near Punta Tocón, at 3:20 pm local time (2:20 pm GMT).

The US National Hurricane Center has warned of “catastrophic flooding” in Puerto Rico as Fiona heads for the Dominican Republic.

Both territories were notified of the hurricane’s passage, and local authorities activated security protocols.

For their part, the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands issued a hurricane watch on Sunday and are putting their evacuation plans into action as officials warned that Fiona’s impact is now inevitable.

The alert was issued for the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, including Inagua, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked, Samana Cay, Long Cay and Ragged.

shelters

The Weather Service of San Juan, capital of Puerto Rico, warned that “sudden flooding can occur in streams, highways and streets, as well as in low-lying, poorly drained urban areas.”

Authorities also urged Puerto Ricans to seek shelter to avoid a catastrophe.

“We urge residents of the most critical areas not to leave their homes or, if they live in areas prone to landslides or floods, to gather in government-provided shelters,” explained Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi.

Puerto Rico was one of the territories most affected by Hurricane Maria in 2017, which destroyed much of the country’s energy infrastructure.

And even though five years have passed, the power supply problems remain.

According to what was reported by the EFE news agency, about 800 people are already installed in some of the shelters organized by the authorities.

All ports are closed, and flights from the island’s main airport have been cancelled.

Governor Pierluisi also informed that on Monday (20/9) there will be no classes in public schools and only public employees of essential services will have to go to work.

In turn, US President Joe Biden declared a federal emergency in Puerto Rico, which is an Associated State of the United States.

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