PUERTO RICO: The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued a hurricane warning and alerts for “life-threatening floods and mudslides” for the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. As per the reports, Fiona’s tropical storm intensified on Saturday as it moved closer to Puerto Rico.
Following the destruction of his home in the Basse-Terre neighbourhood by the powerful storm’s heavy rains, one man was discovered dead in Guadeloupe, a French Caribbean island.
“The storm was located about 75 miles (120 km) southeast of St Croix and about 145 miles (235 km) southeast of Puerto Rico with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph) as of Saturday night,” NHC said.
Hurricanes are expected across portion of Puerto Rico
As Fiona got closer to Puerto Rico, it was predicted to intensify into a hurricane on Sunday and into Sunday night.
When a storm’s sustained wind speeds reach 74 mph or more, it is categorized as a Category 1 hurricane.
Up to 20 inches (51 cm) of rain and strong winds that might cause flooding, mudslides, and power outages were expected to fall on the island.
“Hurricane conditions are expected across portions of Puerto Rico Sunday and Sunday night, and are possible across the U.S. Virgin Islands (Saturday night) and Sunday,” NHC said.
Heavy rains from Fiona were also expected to spread to the Dominican Republican on Sunday.
Residents of Puerto Rico were preparing for significant power disruptions on Saturday because the island’s infrastructure was still shaky following Hurricane Maria. In September 2017, Hurricane Maria resulted in the biggest blackout in American history.
During that category five hurricane, 80% of the power cables were destroyed, leaving 1.5 million consumers without electricity.
Authorities have closed beaches and casinos, opened approximately 80 shelters, and urged locals to take shelter.
Governor Pedro Pierluisi signed a state of emergency Saturday.
“We should not underestimate this storm in the least. The government is active and prepared to respond to the emergency, ” he added.
“We anticipate the winds and rain will pick up over the night,” he continued.
The hurricane will produce outages, according to Abner Gómez, a spokesman for LUMA Energy, which runs the island’s electricity grid.
“But we’ll be prepared to react. The same thing that happened during Maria is not going to happen here,” Gómez said.