Hurricane Fiona made landfall in the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday after becoming a Category 3 storm. devastating Puerto Rico, where many people were left without electricity or running water, and rescuers used heavy equipment to lift survivors to safety. The eye of the storm passed near Grand Turk, the capital island of the tiny British territory, after the government imposed a curfew and urged people to evacuate flood-prone areas.
By Tuesday night, the storm was located about 95 miles north of North Caicos, with hurricane-force winds and tropical storm-force winds extending 45 miles from the center, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC). Up to 160 miles. The storm was moving north at about 8 mph.
Fiona was expected to approach Bermuda on Thursday, the NHC said, and is expected to strengthen over the next few days. US Department of State gave advice On Tuesday night, US citizens will “reconsider travel” to Bermuda.
Although the typhoon was still raging in the archipelago on Tuesday, authorities reported only a few downed trees and power poles and no deaths. However, they noted that telecommunications in Grand Turk were severely affected.
“Fiona has definitely been fighting us for the last few hours and we’re still not out of the thick of it,” said Minister for Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development Akierra Missick.
Turks and Caicos could still see 1 to 3 inches of rain from Fiona, while the Dominican Republic could see another 1 to 2 inches, the NHC predicts, bringing more flooding potential. In total, parts of Puerto Rico could receive up to 35 inches of rain from the storm, while parts of the Dominican Republic could see 20 inches.
“Storms are unpredictable,” Turks and Caicos Prime Minister Washington Misick said in a statement from London, where he was attending the event. Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. “That’s why you should take every precaution to ensure your safety.”
Fiona was forecast to weaken before making a run into easternmost Canada over the weekend. It was not expected to threaten the US mainland.
Fiona caused blackouts when it hit the southwestern corner of Puerto Rico on Sunday, the anniversary of Hurricane Hugo, which hit the island in 1989 as a Category 3 storm.
By Tuesday morning, authorities said they had restored power to about 300,000 of the island’s 1.47 million customers. It was power has also been restored to San Jorge Children’s and Women’s Hospital on Tuesday afternoon, Luma, Puerto Rico’s electric distribution company, said.
Puerto Rico’s governor has warned that it could take days for everyone to have electricity.
Water service to more than 760,000 customers — two-thirds of the total customers on the island — was cut off due to cloudy water at filtration plants or power outages, officials said.
Governor of New York. Kathy Hochul he tweeted As of Tuesday night, 1.2 million people were still without power in Puerto Rico and 27% of the island was without water. Hochul also added that 1,301 people are in temporary shelters.
He said New York State Police are ready to deploy to the area to help with recovery efforts.
A storm was responsible At least two deaths in Puerto Rico. A 58-year-old man died after police said he was swept away by a river in the central highlands town of Comerio. Another death was linked to the power outage – a 70-year-old man burned to death after trying to fill a generator with gasoline while it was running, authorities said.
Authorities in the Dominican Republic also reported two deaths: a 68-year-old man was hit by a falling tree and an 18-year-old girl was hit by a fallen utility pole while riding a motorcycle. The storm forced more than 1,550 people to seek safety in government shelters and left more than 406,500 homes without power.
The hurricane closed several highways, and the tourist pier in Michesh was seriously damaged by high waves. Officials said at least four international airports were closed.
Dominican President Luis Abinader said it would take several days for authorities to assess the storm’s effects.
Overturned closets, beds and large refrigerators were strewn across people’s yards Tuesday as the Plato River burst its banks and a flood of brown water burned cars and homes.
“Puerto Rico is not ready for this or anything,” said Mariangy Hernández, a 48-year-old housewife who said she doubts the government will help her community of 300 in the long run. streets and energy recovery. “It’s only for a few days and then they forget about us.”
She and her husband were stuck in line waiting for the National Guard to clear a landslide in their mountain neighborhood.
“Is it open? Is it open?” one driver asked, concerned that the road might be completely closed.
Other drivers asked if the National Guard could stop by their homes to help trim trees or clean up piles of mud and debris.
Michelle Carlo, Medical Advisor for Direct Relief in Puerto Rico, Awned CBS News On Tuesday, he said the situation on the island was “very similar” to 2017 Hurricane Maria caused About 3,000 deaths.
“Even though Fiona was only classified as a Category 1 hurricane, the water damage in Puerto Rico has been as bad or worse in some places than when Maria hit us five years ago,” he said.
Five years later, there are more than 3,000 houses on the island still covered with blue tarps.
National Guard Brig. Gen. Narciso Cruz called the resulting floods historic.
“There were communities that flooded in the storm that didn’t flood under Maria,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Cruz said 670 people had been rescued in Puerto Rico, including 19 at a nursing home in the northern mountain town of Cayey.
“Rivers burst their banks and covered communities,” he said.
Some were rescued by kayaks and boats, while others were lifted to higher ground by entering the large back of a digger.
He regretted that some people refused to leave their homes and said that he understood them.
“It’s human nature,” he said. “But seeing that their lives were in danger, they agreed to go.”
Jeannette Soto, a 34-year-old manicurist, worried that crews would take a long time to restore power because the landslide took out a main light pole in the neighborhood.
“This is the first time this has happened,” he said about landslides. “We didn’t think the scale of the rain would be this big.”
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi called for a major disaster declaration on Tuesday and said it would be at least a week before authorities could assess Fiona’s damage.
He said that the damage caused by the rain was “catastrophic”, especially in the central, southern and southeastern regions of the island.
“The impact of the hurricane was devastating for many people.
The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency visited Puerto Rico on Tuesday as the agency announced it was sending hundreds of additional workers to boost local response efforts.
On Tuesday evening, US Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra declared a public health emergency for Puerto Rico. This comes after President Biden declared a state of emergency on Monday.
HHS has so far sent 25 personnel to the island, the agency said.
“We will do everything we can to help officials in Puerto Rico respond to the effects of Hurricane Fiona,” Becerra said. “We are working closely with area health authorities and our federal partners and stand ready to provide additional public health and medical support.”
US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that as part of the emergency declaration, he would require the federal government to pay 100% of disaster response costs instead of the usual 75%.
“We need to make sure that this time Puerto Rico has everything they need, as quickly as possible, for as long as they need it,” he said.
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