Hurricane Fiona causes total blackout all over Puerto Rico
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) warns of torrential rains and mudslides across Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic after storm Fiona strengthened and turned into a category 1 hurricane.
An island-wide power outage hit Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona neared Puerto Rico, the Poweroutage.us portal indicated.
"100% of Puerto Rico is now without power from Hurricane Fiona," the website said.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said earlier on Sunday that tropical storm Fiona turned into a hurricane, warning that torrential rains and mudslides are likely to occur across Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
"Hurricane conditions are expected across portions of Puerto Rico Sunday and Sunday night, and are possible across the US Virgin Islands (Saturday night) and Sunday," NHC noted.
Parts of Puerto Rico could witness up to 25 inches of rain today, which the NHC warned would “pose an extreme life-threatening flooding risk, especially over southern and eastern portions of the island”.
Hurricane #Fiona could produce 12-16" of rain, possibly up to 25", over portions of Puerto Rico. These rains will pose an extreme life-threatening flooding risk, especially over southern and eastern portions of the island.@NWSSanJuan: https://t.co/2iimGXc4sq pic.twitter.com/ohN1oWFg6r— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 18, 2022
US President Joe Biden approved Puerto Rico's emergency announcement to allow the Caribbean island to tap federal funds before the hurricane's arrival.
About 80 shelters, closed beaches, and casinos were opened for residents to seek shelter.
The category 1 hurricane brought heavy rains, and dangerous winds were expected to make landfall on Sunday evening.
Ports have been closed and flights out of the main international airport have been canceled. Landslides, flash floods, and high winds have already ruined crops in the south of the island, with more threatening conditions forecast through Monday.
Puerto Rico is a tropical archipelago situated nearly a thousand miles southeast of Miami. The main island is mostly mountains surrounded by narrow coastal plains, and it is one of the planet's most vulnerable places to extreme weather caused by the climate crisis.