Deportes

Fiona barrels toward Turks and Caicos as Cat. 3 hurricane

Wa­ter ser­vice was cut to more than 837,000 cus­tomers — two thirds of the to­tal on the is­land — be­cause of tur­bid wa­ter at fil­tra­tion plants or lack of pow­er, of­fi­cials said

 

By DÁNI­CA CO­TO

 

SAN JUAN, Puer­to Ri­co (AP) — Hur­ri­cane Fiona bar­reled to­ward the Turks and Caicos Is­lands on Tues­day as a Cat­e­go­ry 3 storm, prompt­ing the gov­ern­ment to im­pose a cur­few.

Fore­cast­ers said Fiona was ex­pect­ed to pass near Grand Turk, the British ter­ri­to­ry’s cap­i­tal is­land, on Tues­day morn­ing.

“Storms are un­pre­dictable,” Pre­mier Wash­ing­ton Mis­ick said in a state­ment from Lon­don, where he was at­tend­ing the fu­ner­al of Queen Eliz­a­beth II. “You must there­fore take every pre­cau­tion to en­sure your safe­ty.”

Mis­ick is sched­uled to re­turn home on Thurs­day.

Ear­ly Tues­day, Fiona was cen­tered 20 miles (30 kilo­me­ters) south­east of Grand Turk Is­land. It had max­i­mum sus­tained winds of 115 mph (185 kph) and was mov­ing north-north­west at 10 mph (17 kph).

The in­ten­si­fy­ing storm kept drop­ping co­pi­ous rain over the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic and Puer­to Ri­co, where a 58-year-old man died af­ter po­lice said he was swept away by a riv­er in the cen­tral moun­tain town of Com­e­rio.

An­oth­er death was linked to a pow­er black­out — a 70-year-old man was burned to death af­ter he tried to fill his gen­er­a­tor with gaso­line while it was run­ning, of­fi­cials said.

The Na­tion­al Guard has res­cued more than 900 peo­ple as flood­wa­ters con­tin­ue to rush through towns in east­ern and south­ern Puer­to Ri­co with up to 30 inch­es (76 cen­time­ters) of rain fore­cast for some ar­eas. Mul­ti­ple land­slides al­so were re­port­ed.

The blow from Fiona was made more dev­as­tat­ing be­cause Puer­to Ri­co has yet to re­cov­er from Hur­ri­cane Maria, which killed near­ly 3,000 peo­ple and de­stroyed the pow­er grid in 2017. Five years lat­er, more than 3,000 homes on the is­land are still cov­ered by blue tarps.

Au­thor­i­ties said at least 1,300 peo­ple and some 250 pets re­main in shel­ters across the is­land.

Fiona sparked a black­out when it hit Puer­to Ri­co’s south­west cor­ner on Sun­day, the an­niver­sary of Hur­ri­cane Hugo, which slammed in­to the is­land in 1989 as a Cat­e­go­ry 3 storm.

By Tues­day morn­ing, au­thor­i­ties said they had re­stored pow­er to more than 260,000 cus­tomers on the is­land of 3.2 mil­lion peo­ple.

Puer­to Ri­co Gov. Pe­dro Pier­luisi has warned it could take days be­fore every­one has elec­tric­i­ty.

Wa­ter ser­vice was cut to more than 837,000 cus­tomers — two thirds of the to­tal on the is­land — be­cause of tur­bid wa­ter at fil­tra­tion plants or lack of pow­er, of­fi­cials said.

Fiona is not ex­pect­ed to threat­en the U.S. main­land.

In the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic, au­thor­i­ties re­port­ed one death: a man hit by a falling tree. The storm dis­placed more than 12,400 peo­ple and cut off at least two com­mu­ni­ties.

The hur­ri­cane left sev­er­al high­ways blocked, and a tourist pier in the town of Mich­es was bad­ly dam­aged by high waves. At least four in­ter­na­tion­al air­ports were closed, of­fi­cials said.

The Do­mini­can pres­i­dent, Luis Abi­nad­er, said au­thor­i­ties would need sev­er­al days to as­sess the storm’s ef­fects.

Fiona pre­vi­ous­ly bat­tered the east­ern Caribbean, killing one man in the French ter­ri­to­ry of Guade­loupe when flood­wa­ters washed his home away, of­fi­cials said.