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Early numbers show Hurricane Fiona’s impact on Puerto Rico : NPR


Playa Salinas is flooded after Hurricane Fiona passed in Salinas, Puerto Rico, on Monday.

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Playa Salinas is flooded after Hurricane Fiona passed in Salinas, Puerto Rico, on Monday.

Alejandro Granadillo / AP

After Hurricane Fiona made landfall in Puerto Rico, underwater communities, bridges and roads were destroyed, and many residents’ homes became uninhabitable. Initial figures suggest a tough road ahead as residents attempt to recover.

According to Rachel Cleetus, policy director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, it will be some time before experts can address the full scale of damage caused by Fiona out.

“What we can be pretty sure of, when looking at some of these early images coming out, it’s going to be very, very important,” she said.

Here are the latest numbers:

1. Some areas of Puerto Rico get over 30 inches of rain

A woman looks at water damaged furniture after flooding caused by Hurricane Fiona tore through her home in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, on Tuesday.

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A woman looks at water damaged furniture after flooding caused by Hurricane Fiona tore through her home in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, on Tuesday.

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The island was flooded due to heavy rainfall, according to data from the National Hurricane Center.

Southern Puerto Rico is affected 12 to 20 inches. Some areas received nearly 3 feet of maximum rainfall during the storm. Residents of Northern Puerto Rico have seen 4 to 12 inches of rain, with some areas reaching a maximum of 20 inches, the data showed. In the days following the storm, communities still had several inches of rain, and were dealing with significant flooding.

US Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra on Wednesday announced Public Health Emergency on the island due to the effects of flooding from Fiona.

This followed by President Biden disaster declaration.

2. Dozens of people had to be rescued by the National Guard

A National Guard provides water to the people of Punta Diamante in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

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A National Guard provides water to the people of Punta Diamante in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

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From Second in the Cayey-influenced urban, Puerto Rico National Guard saved the lives of 21 elderly people who were bedridden in the elderly’s shelter. According to the National Guard, landslides threaten the structure of homes and the safety of residents. An infantry group in the city of Mayag├╝ez rescued 59 people from a flooded community. Including two bedridden elderly people and 13 pets.

These are only areas that are accessible to rescuers.

“We still don’t have a damage assessment as people can get to some of the more remote areas that have been completely cut off to really start to realize the scale of the damage,” Cleetus told NPR.

Puerto Rico Emergency Management Officials told the Associated Press that some cities were still without power to provide relief in the days following the storm, and it is not clear how people there were affected.

3. More than 900,000 still without electricity

A person cooks in the dark at his home in the Condado Santurce community in San Juan, Puerto Rico, after a power outage.

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A person cooks in the dark at his home in the Condado Santurce community in San Juan, Puerto Rico, after a power outage.

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Much of Puerto Rico’s infrastructure, especially the island’s electricity grid, is still struggling due to Hurricane Maria, which was exacerbated by Hurricane Maria in 2017. It took weeks, even months, to restore power to Puerto Rico. some areas. For example, a Puerto Rican journalist told NPR that he lived without electricity for a year. And it’s still unreliable years later.

PowerOutage.usservice disruption tracker, said about 928,000 households were in the dark as of Friday morning – about five days after Fiona hit.

4. Hundred thousand still no water

A man walks on a flooded street in the Juana Matos neighborhood of Catano, Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Fiona.

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A man walks on a flooded street in the Juana Matos neighborhood of Catano, Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Fiona.

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By Friday, government data shows that more than 358,000 customers (about 27%) still do not have water service.

At one point this week, the Puerto Rico Sewer and Sewer Administration reported more than 760,000 customers without water service or dealing with significant disruptions.

5. Puerto Rico’s economy could suffer billions of dollars

A man looks at a flooded street in the Juana Matos neighborhood of Catano, Puerto Rico.

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Cleetus believes that when experts can properly calculate the extent of Fiona’s total devastation, they will uncover a multibillion-dollar economic disaster.

Given Fiona’s strength and longevity, the economic impact on Puerto Rico won’t be on the same scale as Hurricane Maria, Category 4 when it makes landfall. Maria caused about 3,000 deaths and cost more $100 billion in damage. For comparison, Fiona was a Category 1 hurricane when it made landfall on the island. (Since then, it has gained the strength of a Category 4 hurricane.) as it approaches Bermuda.)

The thing is, Fiona came to Puerto Rico when it wasn’t yet restore properly Cleetus said. The economic damage from this storm will be compounded by the problems still present on the island that have worsened, Maria added.

“Sometimes we tend to focus on hurricanes when they’re in the headlines, and you take that as a unique event,” she said. “But the dual effects of these events are really dangerous for the community.”



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