Miami, September 18 (EFE).- Hurricane Fiona made landfall in southwestern Puerto Rico with maximum sustained winds of 140 kilometers per hour (85 mph), according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC).
The eye of the hurricane, the third hurricane of the Atlantic season, made landfall near Punta Token at 3:20 p.m. local time (7:20 GMT).
The NHC specified that the cyclone, which had “very dangerous winds”, was about 25 kilometers (15 miles) southeast of Mayaguez and was moving northwest at 15 kilometers per hour (9 miles) per hour.
Fiona will produce a flood
According to the NHC, the hurricane could produce storm surges of 1 to 3 feet (30 to 90 centimeters) on normally dry land on the islands of Vieques and Culebra along Puerto Rico’s east and south coasts.
Similarly, Fiona could drop 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 centimeters) of rain, possibly 25 inches (63 centimeters) in parts of Puerto Rico.
“These rainfalls will pose an extreme risk of life-threatening flooding, especially in the southern and eastern parts of the island,” the NHC said.
Fiona, a Category 1 hurricane, out of a total of 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, threatens torrential rain, flooding, mudslides, storm surges and rip currents.
The hurricane presents “very dangerous winds” that are expected to affect the Dominican Republic starting overnight.
The agency warns that wind can damage well-constructed wooden homes, especially roofs, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters.
Those winds, he noted, also carry the risk of downed trees and branches that could cause extensive damage to power lines and poles, leading to blackouts that could last “a few to several days.”
The Dominican Republic will also suffer
Fiona will move near the northern coast of the Dominican Republic tonight and Monday, and near or east of the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday.
So far in the hurricane season, which began on June 1 and ends on November 30, hurricanes Danielle, Earl and Fiona have formed, while tropical storms Alex, Bonnie and Colin have not reached hurricane strength.
Edited by María Fernanda Rueda D.