Fiona is now a major hurricane threatening the Turks and Caicos Islands

Fiona is now a major hurricane threatening the Turks and Caicos Islands

Fiona, which became the first major Category 3 hurricane of the season, approached the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday after causing flooding and power outages and killing three people in the Caribbean.

All residents of Turks and Caicos Islands, where strong winds and heavy rains are already blowing, which can bring up to 20 cm of rain in places, are being called on by the authorities of this British Overseas Territory to lock down.

In fact, potentially deadly flash floods are to be feared there, warns the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) in its latest bulletin, noting that these dangerous phenomena continue to threaten the Dominican Republic.

With winds up to 115 mph, Fiona is a Category 3 Saffir-Simpson Scale, making it “the first major hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season,” according to the NHC.

Forecasts assume a further strength of the hurricane.

– three dead –

In the wake of Fiona, a man died in Guadeloupe who was swept away with his house by the waves of a flooded river. Another died in the Dominican Republic when he fell a tree, and a third in Puerto Rico when he put fuel into a burning generator.

According to the governor of that American territory, Pedro Pierluisi, the hurricane caused “catastrophic” damage in Puerto Rico.

Though the hurricane is moving away from it, flash flooding is still likely to occur there, the NHC notes.

A state of emergency has already been declared there, and Mr Pierluisi on Tuesday announced his intention to ask US President Joe Biden to declare a state of major disaster.

In the Dominican Republic, “local” rain and flooding continued in some areas on Tuesday, according to the NHC.

Near the resort of Punta Cana in the east of the country, where power was cut, several roads were flooded or cut off by falling trees or power poles, according to AFP journalists.

In Puerto Rico, Fiona caused landslides, downed trees and power lines, rendered roads impassable and swept away a bridge in the city of Utuado.

– “Terrible” –

“It was a horrible experience,” said Jorge Cintron, 57, of the South West Coast on Tuesday. For him, the winds carried by Fiona were “stronger than for Maria,” the hurricane that devastated the island in 2017.

The Puerto Rican agricultural sector has been devastated, according to farmers’ union president Hector Cordero, who said in a radio interview on Tuesday that banana, vegetable and coffee crops have been badly hit.

Trees felled by Hurricane Fiona in El Seibo, Dominican Republic, September 20, 2022 (AFP – Erika SANTELICES)

“Farming is basically gone,” washed away by the deluge, he said.

The entire territory of Puerto Rico, which has a population of more than three million, was without power during the approach of the hurricane.

Power has only been restored to just under 300,000 customers of utility LUMA so far, but the governor said at a news conference on Tuesday he expects “a large part of the island” to have access to power again by evening or daytime on Wednesday.

According to the authorities, almost 700,000 people still have no access to drinking water.

Reference: www.challenges.fr

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