Home WORLD AMERICA Hurricane Fiona batters the Turks and Caicos Islands

Hurricane Fiona batters the Turks and Caicos Islands

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The eye of the storm passed near the island of Grand Turk, the largest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, on Tuesday morning after the government imposed a curfew and urged people to flee flood-prone areas . According to the US National Hurricane Center, the storm surge could cause water levels there to rise 1.5 to 2.5 meters above normal.

Prime Minister Washington Misick recalled in a press release that the storms are unpredictable. He urged people to evacuate and take all precautions to ensure their safety.

Early Tuesday, Fiona was swirling just 15 kilometers southeast of the main island, and hurricane-force winds were felt 45 kilometers from her eye. It was generating sustained winds of 185 kilometers per hour and was sliding northwest at 17 kilometers per hour.

By afternoon, the storm was located about 50 kilometers north-northeast of the island of North Caicos.

The US National Hurricane Center in Miami said Fiona could upgrade to a Category 4 hurricane as it approaches Bermuda on Friday. The storm will then lose strength before hitting the east coast of Canada at the weekend.

The storm dumped heavy rains on Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Rain was still battering parts of Puerto Rico on Tuesday, where people were scraping, sweeping and cleaning water from their homes and streets in rural areas as historic floodwaters began to recede.

In the mountain town of Cayey, the Plato River overflowed and the torrent of brown water consumed cars and homes. Overturned dressers, beds and large refrigerators littered people’s yards on Tuesday.

Puerto Rico is not prepared for this, or anythingsaid Mariangy Hernandez, a 48-year-old housewife, who said she doubted the government would help her community of some 300 people in the long term, despite continued efforts to clean the streets and restore power. It’s only for a few days and then they forget about us.

She and her husband stood in line waiting for the National Guard to clean up a landslide in their hilly neighborhood.

The cleanup efforts came on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Maria, which hit as a Category 4 storm in 2017 and knocked out power for a year in parts of Cayey.

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Jeannette Soto, 34, feared it would take a long time for crews to restore power because a landslide swept away the neighborhood’s main lighting fixture.

This is the first time this has happened, she said of the landslides. We didn’t think the magnitude of the rain was going to be so great.

A man is driving on a flooded road.

The hurricane dumped huge amounts of rain.

Photo: Reuters/RICARDO ARDUENGO

historic flood

Governor Pedro Pierluisi called for a major disaster declaration on Tuesday and said it would take at least a week before authorities had an estimate of the damage Fiona caused.

He described the rain damage as catastrophicespecially in the central, southern and southeastern regions of the island.

The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency visited Puerto Rico on Tuesday as the agency announced it was sending hundreds more people to bolster local efforts.

A 58-year-old man has died in Puerto Rico after being swept away by a river in the center of the island. Another 70-year-old man was burned to death when he tried to fill his generator with gasoline while it was running.

The National Guard rescued a thousand people in Puerto Rico, which received up to 64 centimeters of rain in some places. Multiple mudslides are also reported.

National Guard Brigadier General Narciso Cruz called the flooding historic. There are communities that were flooded by the storm that were not flooded under Mariahe said, referring to the 2017 hurricane, which claimed nearly 3,000 lives. I have never seen anything like it.

Mr Cruz said 670 people had been rescued in Puerto Rico, including 19 people at a retirement home in Cayey which was in danger of collapsing.

Rivers have broken their banks and covered communitieshe mentioned.

Some people were rescued using kayaks and boats, while others took refuge in the huge shovel of an excavator and were hoisted to higher ground.

He lamented that some people initially refused to leave their homes, adding that he understood why.

It’s human nature, he said. But when they saw that their lives were in danger, they agreed to leave.

100% of costs covered

Fiona’s blow is all the more devastating as Puerto Rico has yet to recover from Hurricane Maria, which knocked out the power grid in 2017. Five years later, more than 3,000 homes on the island are still covered with blue tarpaulins.

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday he would push for the federal government to cover 100% of disaster response costs – instead of the usual 75% – as part of an emergency disaster declaration.

We need to make sure that, this time around, Puerto Rico has absolutely everything it needs, ASAP, for as long as it needs it.did he declare.

Authorities said Tuesday that at least 1,220 people and more than 70 pets remained in shelters across the island.

Fiona triggered a power outage when she hit the southwest corner of Puerto Rico on Sunday.

On Tuesday morning, authorities said they had restored power to more than 300,000 of the island’s 1.47 million customers. Puerto Rico’s governor has warned it could take days before everyone has power.

Water service has been cut to more than 760,000 customers – two-thirds of residents on the island – due to cloudy water at filtration plants or lack of electricity, officials said.

There are two deaths in the Dominican Republic: that of a 68-year-old man who was run over by a tree and that of an 18-year-old girl who was struck by a falling electricity pole while driving. a motorcycle.

The storm forced more than 1,550 people to seek shelter in government shelters and left more than 406,500 homes without power.

Several highways have been blocked and at least four international airports are closed, officials said.

Fiona had previously suffered one death in Guadeloupe, when floodwaters swept away a man’s house.

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