The entire Puerto Rico was left without power after Hurricane Fiona, which made landfall on Sunday, caused catastrophic flooding. The storm hit the island five years after Hurricane Maria that devastated the island completely, according to a report in NBC News. The high forces of this hurricane have also washed away a bridge that was installed on a state highway, the outlet further said.
The landfall occurred at 3:20 pm (local time) on Sunday that immediately caused chaos and led the government officials to evacuate many areas. The tropical storm made landfall on Puerto Rico’s eastern coastline, where it caused “record” rain and wind gusts of up to 85 mph (137 kmph). Many rivers in Puerto Rico are now severely flooded amid the hurricane, NBC News said.
An emergency disaster declaration was declared for Puerto Rico by US President Joe Biden for speeding up the relief processes for the island, reported Independent.
According to Luma Energy, the firm that manages power transmission and distribution, electricity was initially completely out throughout the island, which has a population of 3.3 million. However, night time officials said that some power had started to be restored, though fully reconnection would take days.
In a news conference on Sunday, the Governor Pedro Pierluisi said that the tropical cyclone came “directly for the island”.
“The eye of the storm was headed away but that the storm’s impacts would continue through at least Monday,” he added later.
Radar data from @NWS indicate that Hurricane #Fiona made landfall along the southwestern coast of Puerto Rico near Punta Tocon at 3:20 pm AST. Maximum sustained winds at landfall were 85 mph (140 km/h) with a pressure of 986 mb (29.12 in Hg).https://t.co/j0OsjsddTDpic.twitter.com/B85U62octj
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 18, 2022
As per the local media reports and eyewitnesses, five years ago, Hurricane Maria pulled up asphalt off highways, washed away a significant road bridge, shut down airports, flooded cars, and dumped so much rain that some rivers rose 20 feet in a matter of hours. The hurricane also claimed hundreds of lives and destroyed crucial energy infrastructure in 2017.