Hurricane Fiona makes landfall in Puerto Rico

World Monday 19/September/2022 16:38 PM
By: DW
Hurricane Fiona makes landfall in Puerto Rico

Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico's southwestern coast on Sunday, unleashing floods, landslides and knocking out the power grid.

"The damages that we are seeing are catastrophic,'' said Governor Pedro Pierluisi.

The storm also ripped up asphalt from roads and washed away a bridge in the central mountain town of Utuado.

Fiona made landfall in Puerto Rico on Sunday afternoon as a category 1 hurricane after having begun as a tropical storm.

Weather service expects more rain

The hurricane's eye is now off the territory's coast, but the US National Weather Service warned that continued rainfall would "produce catastrophic, life-threatening flash floods and urban flooding."

"It's important people understand that this is not over,'' Ernesto Morales, a meteorologist with the weather service, said.

President Joe Biden already declared a state of emergency in the US as the eye of the storm approached the island's

The island, which has suffered from major infrastructure problems for years, was hit by hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017,devastating its electrical grid.

The grid was privatized in June 2021 in an effort to resolve the problem of blackouts, but the storm knocked much of it out.

Currently, over 3,000 homes still have only a blue tarp as a roof. Infrastructure remains extremely vulnerable while 43.4% of the population lives below the poverty line, amounting to some 1.4 million people, according to US government data.