The first major hurricane of the season has devastated parts of Puerto Rico, with relief efforts now under way to help out the stricken nation.
Hurricane Fiona’s September 17th landfall happened five years, almost to the day, after Hurricane Maria unleashed destruction on the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and some who lived through that 2017 disaster say the flooding from Fiona is actually worse than the winds from Maria.
Indeed, most of Puerto Rico's 3.1 million residents have been without power and water since the hurricane hit. At least four people have died as a result of the storm, including one person from Guadeloupe.
President Biden has since authorised FEMA to supply federal emergency aid. Meanwhile, numerous Hurricane Fiona emergency relief services and fundraisers are circulating in the region, including those instituted by nonprofits PRxPR, GlobalGiving and Hispanic Federation.
As US east coast forecaster Charlie Hutcherson said: “There are at least two parts to the Hurricane Fiona story. The second chapter has yet to be written, but we’re all hoping it turns out better than the opening act.
“It all started last week, way out over the open Atlantic, well east of the Caribbean, when Tropical Depression Seven quickly upgraded to Tropical Storm Fiona on Thursday as it approached the northern Leeward Islands. Barbados was the clear winner on the surfing front, even though that paled next to the destruction to come. The storm passed just north of Guadeloupe, providing favourable southerly flow for Barbados while simultaneously dropping over a foot of rain on its French neighbour. Fiona moved into the Caribbean Sea on Friday night and tracked west over the weekend.”
As for Fiona’s swell side, it wasn’t even a fraction of what Earl sent. But we'll keep you updated with news from Fiona as this progresses.