About five years after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is reliving part of the trauma: Hurricane Fiona hit the US territory. The electricity went out completely.
San Juan/Miami – After hitting Puerto Rico, hurricane “Fiona” triggered heavy rain and flooding in large parts of the Caribbean island and caused serious damage.
“Hurricane Fiona has wreaked havoc across Puerto Rico,” the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Día wrote Monday. A long rest will be necessary.
Photos on social networks showed, among other things, fallen trees and poles, houses in the water and rescue operations. Hundreds of people in various cities were evacuated by local authorities and the National Guard as rivers burst their banks. In the community of Utuado on Puerto Rico’s north coast, families were cut off from the outside world after a bridge collapsed.
Dominican Republic is preparing
According to the US hurricane center in Miami, Florida, the “life-threatening and catastrophic flooding” continued due to heavy rain on Monday. Meanwhile, the Dominican Republic was preparing for “Fiona,” where the hurricane made landfall Monday near Boca de Yuma in the east of the island nation with winds up to more than 140 kilometers per hour. The tropical storm also left a trail of devastation there.
“Fiona” reached the southwest coast of Puerto Rico near Punta Tocón on Sunday with similar wind speeds. The cyclone had gained strength over the Atlantic and was upgraded to a hurricane en route to Puerto Rico.
Possibly no electricity for several days
“Fiona” had previously led to a complete power failure on the Caribbean island. “The power grid is currently down due to the effects of the hurricane,” Governor Pedro Pierluisi wrote on social media. According to the electricity provider Luma Energy, it could take several days to restore power. Tens of thousands of customers got electricity again on Monday.
Even before the storm, the power had repeatedly failed in Puerto Rico, which also led to demonstrations. Unreliable power supply has long been a problem in the US outside area. The international music star Bad Bunny, who comes from the Caribbean island, also addresses this in his video clip “El Apagón” (The Power Failure), which appeared a few days ago.
Puerto Rico, an island of just over three million people, is often exposed to storms during hurricane season. In particular, hurricane “Maria” severely damaged the island in September 2017, from which it is still suffering today. Around 3000 people lost their lives. “We understand that many are reliving the trauma of Hurricanes Maria and Irma five years later,” FEMA tweeted. The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November. dpa