On Monday, Hurricane Fiona brought torrential rain to the Dominican Republic, causing flooding and severe damage to the US island of Puerto Rico, leaving residents without power. “The damage to infrastructure and homes was catastrophic,” Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi told a news conference.
After crossing Puerto Rico, the eye of Hurricane Fiona made landfall in the Dominican Republic at around 7:30 am GMT, with sustained winds of 144 km/h, according to the National Hurricane Center.
US officials have yet to publish an estimate of the damage, but local media have reported flooding in coastal towns in the east of the country, as well as road closures. And the National Meteorological Center (UNAMIT) said the rains in the Dominican Republic will continue “until at least Thursday.”
Before Fiona arrived in the Dominican Republic, 13 of the island’s 32 northern and eastern provinces declared high alert. Heavy rains fell on Sunday night in the coastal city of Nagoya (north), which is home to about 80,000 people and is located in one of the areas of greatest alert.
In Puerto Rico, the storm caused landslides, uprooted trees and power lines, blocked many roads and caused a bridge to collapse in the town of Otoado, in the central mountainous region of the island.
“Unfortunately, we expect more rain across the island today and tomorrow,” Puerto Rico’s governor said Monday, urging residents to stay indoors or go to shelters during Hurricane Maria.
Puerto Rico is a former Spanish colony that became a US territory in the late 19th century, was given special status in the 1950s, and has experienced serious infrastructure setbacks over the years.
The island was devastated by hurricanes Irma and María in 2017, which severely damaged the electricity grid, which was privatized in June 2021 to solve the problem of power cuts, but the island suffered blackouts again in April. 2022 year.
On Sunday, Fiona went from tropical storm to category 1 huracan, or the lowest on the Saffir-Simpson scale, and tocó tierra at 15:20 local time (19:20 GMT) near Punta Tocón, on the southwestern coast from Puerto Rico. with winds of up to 140 km/h. US President Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency in Puerto Rico.
All of Puerto Rico, which has a population of more than three million, was left without power as the storm approached. According to the governor, electricity was restored to 100,000 people on Monday. At the same time, up to 196,000 people were deprived of drinking water.
As the ocean surface warms, the frequency of severe cyclones increases with increasing amounts of strong winds and rain. They pose a greater risk, especially in coastal areas.
Fiona caused serious damage as she passed through Guadeloupe on Friday night. In some areas, the waters rose more than five feet and a man died after being swept away by floodwaters from his home.