Hurricane Fiona hits the Dominican Republic after impacting Puerto Rico
Palm trees are blown by strong winds in Nagua, Dominican Republic during Hurricane Fiona. Earlier, the hurricane hit Puerto Rico causing extensive damage and causing power outages.
Hurricane Fiona made landfall in the Dominican Republic on Monday after crossing the US island of Puerto Rico, where it caused extensive damage and deprived residents of power.
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the eye of Hurricane Fiona made landfall along the coast of the Dominican Republic near Boca de Yuma around 7 a.m. h 30 (universal time), with winds of 144 km/h.
The NHC clarified on Twitter predicting sustained winds of up to 150 km/h.
“Life-threatening flooding is likely to occur in areas in the eastern Dominican Republic”
—National Hurricane Center
Prior to Fiona's arrival in the Dominican Republic, President Luis Abinader announced that public and private services would be closed on Monday. The island has placed 13 of its 32 provinces, in the north and east, on red alert.
Heavy rains began Sunday evening in shoot down in Nagua (north), a coastal town of around 80,000 located in one of the regions declared to be on red alert.
On Sunday, Fiona upgraded from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane, at the bottom of the Saffir-Simpson scale, and made landfall at 3:20 p.m. local time on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico near Punta Tocon, carrying winds of up to 140 km/h. US President Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency for Puerto Rico.
Among other things, Fiona caused landslides, downed trees and power lines, made roads impassable and led to the collapse of a bridge in the town of Utuado, in the mountainous region of center of the island, said Governor Pedro Pierluisi, during a press conference on Sunday evening.
Two men look out to sea on a beach in Nagua, Dominican Republic. The eye of the hurricane made landfall near Boca de Yuma on Monday with winds of 144 km/h.
The entire territory of Puerto Rico, which has more than 3 million inhabitants, was without electricity as the hurricane approached, he added. . At the same time, some 196,000 people were deprived of drinking water.
In the town of Utuado, a family saw the zinc roof of their house crack. x27;fly away, like in 2017 during Hurricane Maria, according to local media.
On Monday, Puerto Rico's electricity company said on its website that it had restarted some circuits, without giving figures on the number of people supplied again.
In Porto Rico, the NHC has warned that devastating rains and flash floods will continue to hit the island.
Fiona will remain a catastrophic event due to the aftermath of flooding in the central mountainous region of eastern and southern Puerto Rico, Pierluisi tweeted, adding that 23 to 33 centimeters of rain had fallen in just five hours .
A former Spanish colony, Puerto Rico, which became a United States territory in the late 19th century before gaining special status as an Associated Free State in the 1960s. 1950, has been experiencing serious infrastructure problems for several years.
The island was devastated in 2017 by hurricanes Irma and Maria which seriously damaged its power grid. This was then privatized in June 2021 with the stated aim of solving the problem of power cuts. The island, however, experienced a blackout in April 2022.
The depression is expected to strengthen before heading north towards the Atlantic Ocean, according to the NHC . Tropical storm conditions are expected in the Turks and Caicos Islands and southeastern Bahamas by late Monday or Tuesday morning.
Fiona had already caused serious damage during its passage through Guadeloupe on the night of Friday to Saturday. In places, the water had risen more than five feet. A man had died there, carried away with his house by the waves of a flooded river.
With the warming of the surface of the oceans, the frequency of the most intense hurricanes , with stronger winds and heavier precipitation, is increasing. In particular, they pose an increasing risk to coastal communities.