Hurricane Fiona: Horrifying video shows Puerto Rico bridge being swept away amid island-wide blackout
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PUERTO RICO: The Island of Enchantment is suffering extreme damage as Hurricane Fiona has laid waste to everything in its path. The 3.2 million people living on the island are in danger as there is no electricity, winds traveling faster than cars, landslides, and overall destruction. LUMA Energy, operator of the island's grid and the Puerto Rico power said it could take several days to bring back the power. Seeing the island and its condition, President Joe Biden declared an emergency on Sunday, September 18.
The National Hurricane Center said radar indicated the storm made landfall along the southwestern coast of the island near Punta Tocon at 3.20 pm. The US National Hurricane Center explained that the storm sustained winds of about 85 miles per hour 140 km/h, clearing the threshold for a Category 1 hurricane. Several videos of the destruction have surfaced online. The Turks and Caicos Islands are likely to face tropical storm conditions on Tuesday, September 20. Joe Biden declared an emergency in Puerto Rico asking FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to "identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency."
The statement read, "The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in all 78 municipalities in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico." A video posted on Twitter shows the flood sweeping away an entire bridge. Other images show gaps in land and landslides.
Hurricane Fiona strikes hard
The Puerto Rican National Guard has carried out several rescue missions in different municipalities. The storm's clouds covered the entire island and the city was trapped in a tropical storm-force wind as it extended as far as 140 miles from Hurricane Fiona's center. Many health centers were running on generators, which failed over time in some areas. The island was under a flash flood warning after 15 inches of rain had already fallen in some areas.
Desde horas de la tarde, @PRNationalGuard ha realizado rescates en diferentes municipios. Exhortamos a las personas que viven en zonas inundables a salir y ubicarse en lugares seguros. (Fotos: Batalló 125 de Policía Militar) pic.twitter.com/rnS1r7UPE1— PRNationalGuard (@PRNationalGuard) September 19, 2022
Puerto Rico is without power after Hurricane Fiona hit the island pic.twitter.com/bLmAKtyECY— My Mixtapez (@mymixtapez) September 19, 2022
Several roadblocks have been announced as trees and landslides are naturally blocking the way. Almost 780 people with almost 80 pets had already sought shelter across the island by Saturday night. Fiona comes as a ghastly reminder of Hurricane Maria just two days before its anniversary which was a cataclysmic Category 5 storm that struck on September 20, 2017. It destroyed the island's power grid, caused nearly 3,000 deaths, and unleashed 102 centimeters of rain. Fiona, on the other hand, was previously predicted to drop 30 to 41 centimeters of rain over eastern and southern Puerto Rico, with as much as 64 centimeters in isolated spots.