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'Fiona' became a hurricane near Puerto Rico, where measures are being taken to contain the effects. Pixabay
Fiona became a hurricane near Puerto Rico, where measures are being taken to contain its effects. Photo: Pixabay

Fiona is already a hurricane near Puerto Rico

It threatens torrential rains, flooding and mudslides on the island. It is close to Ponce.

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The recently upgraded Hurricane Fiona is expected to affect the Dominican Republic later, according to authorities. The tropical storm became the third hurricane of the season, after Danielle and Earl. So far, it has been catalogued as category 1, out of 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale. According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC), its winds reach speeds of 80 miles per hour.

The speed it maintains, according to NHC, can affect residential roofs, topple trees and destroy power towers.

The National Weather Service San Juan reported that "several rivers are out of flow: Rio Cayaguas, Rio Grande de Loiza, at Quebrada Arenas, Rio Guayanes, Yabucoa & Rio Grande de Loiza. Communities along these rivers should consider moving to higher ground immediately."

In a recent report, the NHC noted that "the Hurricane Watch for the U.S. Virgin Islands has been discontinued". But it warns of a hurricane warning for Puerto Rico, "including Vieques and Culebra," as well as for the "coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Caucedo to Cabo Frances Viejo," for the "north coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Frances Viejo westward to Puerto Plata."

It also warned that "a hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area in this case within the next 24 hours. Preparations to protect life and property should be completed in haste."

In the morning, President Joe Biden heeded the request of Governor of Puerto Rico Pedro Pierluisi to declare a state of emergency, ordering the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to advance the corresponding tasks to "save lives, protect property, health and public safety; and avoid a catastrophe in the 78 municipalities" on the island.

According to media reports, Fiona caused severe damage last night in Guadeloupe.

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