The US National Hurricane Center reported that Fiona, which plunged the entire US territory into darkness, landed at 15:20 local time (16:20 GMT) near Punta Tucón (southwest).
The hurricane advances with winds of up to 140 km/h. The NHC added that it is currently a Category 1, the lowest on the Saffir-Simpson scale (which goes up to 5), but is expected to “gain more strength in the next 48 hours.”
The storm caused a general power outage on the island shortly after 13:00 (14:00 GMT), the Electric Power Authority reported Puerto RicoThe public corporation in charge of generating electricity.
Its director, Jose Colon, said in a television interview that the organization had already managed to restart several generators, a first step towards restoring the power grid.
According to established protocols, once managed to reactivate the network, the authority will first attempt to restore service in hospitals and other government buildings that provide essential services.
The Grande de Luisa and Caguetas rivers, located in the north and center of the island, overflowed in some areas, the US National Weather Service (NWS) reported on Twitter.
“Communities on the banks of these rivers should consider moving to higher ground immediately,” he added.
According to local media, other rivers overflowed in the southeast of the island, inundating highways and urban areas.
In the mountainous region and the southwest, several families lost the roof of their homes due to gusts of wind and had to take refuge in government-authorized shelters.
In the morning judge Puerto RicoPedro Pierluisi urged residents to seek shelter.
“We urge our people to stay at home and seek shelter if necessary,” he told a news conference. “We remain on cyclone alert.” “Because of its size, this storm will affect everyone Puerto Rico“, he added.
Pierluisi announced the suspension of classes in schools on Monday due to expectations of continued rain.
It also abolished the work of civil servants, except for those who hold critical jobs or provide essential services during an emergency.
On Sunday, US President Joe Biden approved the declaration of a state of emergency in… Puerto Ricoa measure allowing the release of federal funds for relief work.
The former Spanish colony became an American territory in the late 19th century, before gaining the status of an associated free state in 1950.
Authorities expect rain from 508 to 635 mm in isolated areas of Puerto Ricoa much lower amount than was recorded during the passage of Hurricane Maria, which swept the Caribbean nearly five years ago.
“We can expect damage, but not at Maria’s level,” NWS’ Ernesto Morales said at the same governor’s press conference.
After Mary’s death, Puerto Rico It was cut off from the outside world and large areas were without electricity for several months. Nearly 3,000 people died as a result of the disaster.according to the official balance sheet.
Fiona did indeed cause serious damage on her way through Guadeloupe on Friday night. In some places, the water rose more than 1.50 meters in this French territory. A man died at the scene, dragged along with his home by a river flood.
Experts say a warming ocean surface is increasing the frequency of the fiercest hurricanes, with stronger winds and heavier rainfall.
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