The southern and southwestern regions of Puerto Rico yesterday received the direct impact Hurricane Fionawhich split its dry eye between Lajas and Cabo Rojodestroying structures with gusty winds of up to 103 miles per hour and causing flooding and landslides due to the accumulation of between eight and 13 inches of rain, in what is already shaping up as a multi-million dollar disaster.
Fiona, whose effects were felt throughout Puerto Rico and expected a long recovery, also caused public power outages, deteriorating marine conditions and left at least 1,325 refugees, a number that threatened to increase last night.
Due to the flooding of the rivers, hundreds of people have been evacuated and rescued, by the National Guard and municipal authorities, in cities such as Caguas, Cayí, Maunapo, Yabucoa, Salinas, Guayama and Bayamon, among others.
In Otwadu, families were left incommunicado due to the collapse of two bridges. Across the country, dozens of highways remained impassable due to landslides, fallen trees and power poles.
conservative Peter Pierluisi You mentioned that as of today, damage analysis will begin, with a detailed picture expected in the coming days.
according to him National Hurricane Center (NHC, in English), I entered Fiona’s eye via Punta Tocón, 3:20 p.m., with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. This was the first hurricane to hit Puerto Rican soil since Maria, whose fifth anniversary falls tomorrow.
A gust of 103 miles per hour has been recorded in Ponce in detail Ernest MoralesNotification Coordinator National Weather Service (SNM). He added that the rain associated with the hurricane will continue today and possibly tomorrow, when it can accumulate up to 30 inches.
president Joe Biden Yesterday approved the emergency declaration, which will allow Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA, in English) The state government is assisting with immediate protective measures. After that, a disaster declaration may be issued to aid recovery.
As of press time, there were no known major incidents in the eastern and northwestern regions, while mayors in the southern and southwestern regions were unable to come out to update damage reports due to the continued deterioration of conditions.
“this is a disaster”
Earlier, the mayor of Saint-Germain, Virgil Oliveira, expect the effects of Fiona in the southwest to be devastating. At 5:00 pm, the Guanajibo and Douyi rivers blew their banks and a large part of the roads in this city were cut off. “This is a disaster, frankly. He lamented, the situation in this region would be very strong.
counterpart from Maricao, Wilfredo Ruizreported that 300 to 400 families from his municipality and Sabana Grande have been cut off due to the closure of the PR-120 motorway, which connects the two cities.
Oliveira, Royce and the mayor of Lajas, Jason Maldonado, lamented that few citizens had heeded the call to mobilize to shelters, despite staying in areas prone to flooding, landslides and other threats.
In Guánica and Yaoco, Mayor Ismail “Titi” Rodriguez and Angel Luis Torres, respectively, were concerned about the damage Fiona had caused to damaged buildings, in 2020, due to earthquakes. In both cities, families are still waiting for new housing.
“We are a people that have been damaged by previous earthquakes and hurricanes, and that is one of our concerns. But, we are also a resilient people, and these experiences have taught us,” Rodriguez said.
On the other hand, Mayor of Maunapo said, Angel Omar Lafuente, reported that a 70-year-old man lost the roof of his wooden house in the Himajagua community due to wind. The man, who was in good condition, was escorted to a relative’s house.
Lafuente added that staff from the Maonapo Municipal Emergency Management Office (OMME) rescued a family who was trapped in a PR-759. He said that water from the Maonapo River was entering his residence and they decided to leave, but were caught.
The National Guard The OMME in Salinas vacated part of the Playa, Playita and Las Margaritas communities, as the Nigua River was threatening to overrun its banks.
Carlos ReyesGuayama district manager in Office of Emergency Management and Disaster Management (Named), he added, about 20 people were also evacuated from the mosquito community, in that city, because of the storm.
In Juana Díaz, six families also lost their rooftops, in the neighborhoods of Jaguas, Ares, Rio Canas Arriba and Rio Cañas Abajo, said OMME Director Angel Feliciano. He realized that getting to the homes was difficult because of the number of trees falling on the roads.
Meanwhile, the concern in Villalba, Gayoya and Adjuntas was landslides due to rain.
Gerardo y Alvarado contributed to this note.
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