Puerto Rico is bracing for the full impact of Hurricane Fiona as the huge storm prepares to make landfall.
‘Catastrophic’ flood alert as Hurricane Fiona cuts Puerto Rico power
Hurricane Fiona is nearing the coast of Puerto Rico, threatening to slam the US territory with “catastrophic flooding,” a government agency said, while the island’s fragile power grid was knocked out of service.
The storm – which was upgraded from a tropical storm earlier on Sunday – is about 40 km south-west of the city of Ponce with maximum sustained winds near140 km/h, clearing the threshold for hurricane strength, the National Hurricane Center said in an update.
Electricity was out across the island of 3.3 million people, LUMA Energy, operator of the island’s grid and the Puerto Rico power authority said in a statement. Earlier on Sunday, electricity had been lost to about a third of power customers.
Puerto Rico’s ports have been closed and flights out of the main airport canceled. Torrential rains and mudslides were also forecast for the Dominican Republic as the storm progresses north-west, with the Turks and Caicos Islands likely facing tropical storm conditions on Tuesday, the NHC said.