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Fiona heads to Turks and Caicos: NPR


Homes are flooded on Salinas Beach after Hurricane Fiona hit Salinas, Puerto Rico on Monday.

Alejandro Granadillo/AP


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Alejandro Granadillo/AP

Fiona heads to Turks and Caicos: NPR

Homes are flooded on Salinas Beach after Hurricane Fiona hit Salinas, Puerto Rico on Monday.

Alejandro Granadillo/AP

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Hurricane Fiona tracked 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 close to Grand Turk, the British Territory’s capital island, on Tuesday morning.

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

Misick is due home on Thursday.

Early Tuesday, Fiona was centered 30 kilometers southeast of the island of Grand Turk. It had maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185 km/h) and was moving north-northwest at 10 mph (17 km/h).

The intensifying storm continued to bring heavy rain to 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 outage – a 70-year-old man was burned to death after trying 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 cities in eastern and southern Puerto Rico with up to 30 inches (76 centimeters) of rain forecast for some areas. Several landslides were also reported.

Fiona’s blow was made more devastating as Puerto Rico has yet to recover from Hurricane Maria, which killed nearly 3,000 people and knocked out the power grid in 2017. Five years later, more than 3,000 houses on the island are still covered with blue tarps.

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

Fiona triggered a power outage when it hit the southwest corner of Puerto Rico on Sunday, the anniversary of Hurricane Hugo, which hit the island in 1989 as a Category 3 storm.

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

Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi warned it could take days before everyone has power.

Water service has been cut to more than 837,000 customers – two-thirds of the total on the island – due to cloudy water at filter plants or lack of power, officials said.

Fiona should not threaten the American continent.

In the Dominican Republic, authorities have reported one fatality: a man struck by a falling tree. The storm displaced more than 12,400 people and isolated at least two communities.

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

Dominican President Luis Abinader said authorities would need several days to assess the effects of the storm.

Fiona has previously battered the Eastern Caribbean, killing a man in the French territory of Guadeloupe when floodwaters swept away his home, officials said.

NPR News

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