“We’re all stranded”: Days after Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico, many areas remain isolated
“We’re all stranded”: Days after Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico, many areas remain isolated

“We’re all stranded”: Days after Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico, many areas remain isolated

A satellite image shows a flooded bridge after Hurricane Fiona, in Arecibo
A satellite image shows a flooded bridge after Hurricane Fiona, in Arecibo, Puerto Rico on September 21, 2022.

Maxar Technologies / Text via Reuters

Hurricane Fiona has left dozens of families stranded across Puerto Rico after destroying roads and bridges, as authorities still struggle to get people out four days after the storm. hit the ground in the United Statesand brought about a historic flood.

Now, government officials are working with religious groups, non-profit organizations and others to brave landslides, thick mud and broken asphalt on foot to provide food, water and medicine to those in need, but they are under pressure to clear a road for cars to enter. recently isolated areas.

Nino Correa, the head of Puerto Rico’s emergency management agency, estimated that at least six municipalities on the island had areas cut off by Fiona, which hit as a Category 1 storm and was up to Category 4 by Thursday morning. heading to Bermuda

The US National Hurricane Center in Miami has issued a hurricane warning for Bermuda.

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Fiona is forecast to pass Bermuda on Thursday night, then hit eastern Canada on Saturday, the center of the storm.

The storm had sustained winds of 130 mph Thursday morning and was centered 485 miles southwest of Bermuda. It was going north-northeast at 13 mph.

After Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico
A man collects water from a mountain next to a highway after Hurricane Fiona in Cayey, Puerto Rico on September 21, 2022.


Manuel Veguilla lives in one of the cut off areas of Puerto Rico. He hasn’t been able to leave his neighborhood in the northern hills of Caguas since Fiona left on Sunday.

“We are all isolated,” he said, adding that he is worried about elderly neighbors, including his older brother, who do not have the ability to walk the long distances it takes to reach the community. the closest.

Veguilla heard that county officials may open a road on Thursday, but he doubts that will happen because, he said, large rocks have covered the bridge near it and the 10-foot plain below.

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Neighbors shared food and water dropped by non-profit groups, and an elderly woman’s son was able to bring basic supplies back on foot Wednesday, he said.

Veguilla said that after Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 hurricane that hit five years ago and it resulted in nearly 3,000 deaths, he and others used dustbins and shovels to clear the debris. But Fiona was different, releasing huge landslides.

“I can’t throw those stones over my shoulder,” he said.

Like hundreds of thousands of other Puerto Ricans after Fiona, Veguilla had no water or electricity service, but said there was a natural spring nearby.

Fiona triggered an island-wide blackout as it hit Puerto Rico in the southwest, which is already struggling to recover from a series of strong earthquakes in recent years. About 62% of 1.47 million homes and businesses were without power four days after the storm amid a severe heat warning issued by the National Weather Service. Some 36% of customers, or nearly half a million, did not have water service.

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The US Federal Emergency Management Agency sent hundreds of additional workers to assist local authorities as the federal government approved a major disaster declaration and declared a health emergency on the island.

Both local and federal officials have not provided any damage estimates as Puerto Rico struggles to recover from the storm, which dropped up to 30 inches of rain in some areas. More than 1,000 people remained in shelters.

“Our hearts go out to the people of Puerto Rico who have endured so much suffering over the past two years,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president of operations and logistics for the Red Cross.

After Puerto Rico, Fiona beat the Dominican Republic and then hit the Turks and Caicos Islands when it strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane. Officials there reported few casualties, although the eye of the storm passed near Grand Turk, a small British island, on Tuesday.

“God has been good to us and kept us safe during this time when we could have had a worse outcome,” said Deputy Governor Anya Williams.

Source : www.cbsnews.com