CAGUAS, Puerto Rico (AP) – Hurricane Fiona has left hundreds of people stranded in Puerto Rico after destroying roads and bridges, four days after the storm hit the U.S. mainland, officials have yet to reach. are struggling, which led to the historic flood.

Government officials, along with religious groups, nonprofits and others, are working through landslides, thick mud and broken asphalt to deliver food, water and medicine to people in need, but clear the way for them. There is pressure to do so so that vehicles can enter isolated areas soon. .


Nino Correa, commissioner of Puerto Rico’s emergency management agency, estimated that at least six of the island’s municipalities had areas cut off by Fiona, which hit as a Category 1 hurricane on Thursday. was up to Category 4 power heading for Bermuda.

Manuel Viguela said he has been unable to leave his neighborhood in the northern mountain town of Caguas since Fiona entered on Sunday.


“We’re all isolated,” he said, adding that he worries about elderly neighbors, including his older brother who doesn’t have the strength to walk long distances to reach the nearest community.

Viguela heard that municipal officials could open a path Thursday, but he doubted that would happen because +large boulders have covered a nearby bridge and 10 feet below it.


Neighbors have shared food and water left by nonprofit groups, and an elderly woman’s son was able to bring back basic supplies on foot Wednesday, he said.

Viguela said that after Hurricane Maria, which hit five years ago and killed nearly 3,000 people, he and others used picks and shovels to remove debris. But Fiona was different, causing massive landslides.


“I can’t throw these stones over my shoulder,” he said.

Like hundreds of thousands of other Puerto Ricans after Fiona, Viguela had no running water or electricity, but said there was a natural source of water nearby.

Fiona triggered island-wide blackouts as it hit the southwestern region of Puerto Rico, which was already trying to recover from a series of powerful earthquakes in recent years. 62% of 1.47 million customers remained without power Thursday, four days after the storm, amid a severe heat warning issued by the National Weather Service. About 36 percent of consumers, or nearly half a million, had no water service.

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency sent hundreds of additional personnel to assist local officials as the federal government approved a major disaster declaration and declared a public health emergency on the island.

Neither local nor federal government officials provided an overall estimate of damage from the storm, which dumped up to 30 inches of rain in some areas. More than 470 people and 48 pets stayed in shelters.

“Our hearts go out to the people of Puerto Rico who have suffered so much over the past few years,” said Brad Kasserman, vice president of operations and logistics for the Red Cross.

After Puerto Rico, Fiona struck the Dominican Republic and then roared over the Turks and Caicos Islands as it strengthened. Officials there reported relatively light damage and no deaths, although the storm’s eye passed close to the British territory’s tiny capital island of Grand Turk on Tuesday.

“God has been good to us and kept us safe during a time when we could have had a worse outcome,” said Deputy Gov. Anya Williams.

The US National Hurricane Center said Fiona was forecast to pass near Bermuda late Thursday or early Friday and then hit eastern Canada early Saturday morning.

Fiona had sustained winds of 130 mph (215 km/h) on Thursday morning, the center said. It was centered about 455 miles (735 km) southwest of Bermuda, moving north-northeast at 13 mph (20 km/h).

A hurricane warning was in effect for Bermuda.


Associated Press reporter Maricarman Rivera Sanchez contributed.

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