Hurricane Fiona hit the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday as a Category 3 storm after hitting it.Most people were left without electricity or running water. Cyclone Grand Turk hit the tiny British capital island on Tuesday morning after the government imposed a curfew and urged people to flee flood-prone areas.
By Tuesday evening, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC), the storm was centered about 50 miles north of North Caicos Island, with hurricane-force winds extending up to 35 miles from the center and tropical storm winds extending upward. to 150 miles. The storm was moving northwest at about 8 mph.
The National Committee said Turks and Caicos would continue to see “heavy rain” throughout the evening hours with “life-threatening flooding”.
Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic are forecast to see another one to two inches of rain from Fiona, raising the potential for more flooding. In total, parts of Puerto Rico can receive up to 35 inches of rain from the storm, while some parts of the Dominican Republic can see 20 inches.
The commission said Fiona is expected to approach Bermuda late Thursday, and is expected to strengthen over the next few days.
“Storms are unpredictable,” Prime Minister Washington Messick said in a statement from London, where he was attending the conference.. “So you should take every precaution to ensure your safety.”
Fiona was expected to weaken before hitting easternmost Canada over the weekend. It was not expected to threaten the mainland United States.
Fiona caused a power outage when it hit the southwest corner of Puerto Rico on Sunday, in memory of Hurricane Hugo, which hit the island in 1989 as a Category 3 storm.
By Tuesday morning, authorities said they had restored electricity to nearly 300,000 of the island’s 1.47 million customers. was the force also restore Puerto Rican Electricity Distribution Corporation Loma reported that the St. George Children’s and Women’s Hospital in San Juan Tuesday afternoon.
Puerto Rico’s governor has warned that it could take days before everyone has electricity.
More than 760,000 consumers – two-thirds of the island’s total – had water service cut off due to turbid water at purification plants or a lack of electricity, officials said.
the stormFor at least two deaths in Puerto Rico. A 58-year-old man has died after police said he was swept away by a river in the central mountain town of Comerio. Officials said another death was linked to a power outage – a 70-year-old man was burned to death after trying to fill his generator with gasoline while it was running.
In the Dominican Republic, authorities also reported two deaths: a 68-year-old man who was hit by a fallen tree and an 18-year-old girl who was hit by an electric 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 caused several highways to be closed and a tourist pier in Michis Township was badly damaged by the waves. Officials said at least four international airports were closed.
Dominican President Luis Abenader said authorities would need several days to assess the effects of the storm.
In the mountain town of Caye in central Puerto Rico, where the Plato River overflowed its banks and a brown overflow of water-guzzling cars and homes, cupboards, beds and large refrigerators littered people’s yards on Tuesday.
“Puerto Rico is not ready for this, or anything,” said Mariang Hernandez, a 48-year-old housewife. Streets and energy recovery. “That’s only for two days and after that they forgot about us.”
She and her husband were stuck in line waiting for the National Guard to clear the landslide in their mountainous neighborhood.
“Is it open? Is it open?” asked one driver worried that the road might be completely closed.
Other drivers asked the National Guard if they could swing by their homes to help cut trees or remove clumps of mud and debris.
Michelle Carlo, Puerto Rico Direct Relief Medical Adviser, He told CBS News On Tuesday, conditions on the island were “frighteningly similar” to 2017, when it causes .
“Although Fiona is classified as a Category 1 hurricane, the water damage in Puerto Rico is in some places as bad or worse than when Maria hit us five years ago,” Carlo said.
Five years later, there are more than 3,000 homes on the island.
Brigadier General of the National Guard. General Narciso Cruz described the resulting floods as historic.
“There were communities that were submerged in the storm and that Maria was not overwhelmed,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
Cruz said 670 people were rescued in Puerto Rico, including 19 in a nursing home in the northern mountain town of Cayia, which was in danger of collapsing.
“Rivers have broken their banks and covered their communities,” he said.
Some were rescued by kayak and boat while others settled into a huge digger shovel and were lifted to higher ground.
He lamented the refusal of some people to leave their homes, adding that he understood them.
“It’s human nature,” he said. But when they saw their lives in danger, they agreed to leave.”
Janet Soto, a 34-year-old manicurist, worried that the crew would take too long to restore power because a landslide swept away the neighborhood’s main lighting site.
“It’s the first time this has happened,” she said of the landslides. “We didn’t think the amount of rain would be so great.”
Governor Pedro Pierluisi requested a major disaster declaration on Tuesday and said it would take at least a week before authorities had an estimate of the damage caused by Fiona.
He said that the damage caused by the rains was “catastrophic”, especially in the central, south and southeast regions of the island.
“The impact of the hurricane is devastating to many people,” he said.
The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency traveled to Puerto Rico on Tuesday as the agency announced that it would send hundreds of additional staff to bolster local response efforts.
US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, declared Tuesday evening a public health emergency for Puerto Rico. This comes after President Biden on Monday issued an emergency declaration.
The agency said in a press release that HHS has deployed 25 personnel to the island so far.
“We will do everything in our power to assist Puerto Rican officials in responding to the effects of Hurricane Fiona,” Becerra said in a statement. “We work closely with regional 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 he will pay the federal government to cover 100% of disaster response costs – instead of the usual 75% – as part of an emergency declaration.
“We need to make sure this time around, Puerto Rico has absolutely everything it needs, ASAP, for as long as it needs it,” he said.