Failing dam prompts massive evacuation in Puerto Rico

While Puerto Rico is still trying to recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Maria, 70,000 residents of the island were instructed to evacuate their homes due to another danger. Maria’s strong winds and rain cracked Guajataca Dam, and the failure could lead to “could lead to “life-threatening flash flooding.”

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Even though Hurricane Maria has been downgraded to a Category 2 and is no longer slamming Puerto Rico, the immense damage caused by the storm is still threatening lives. The authorities on the island ordered about 70,000 residents to evacuate their homes because of a failing dam. The National Weather Service announced that the failure at Guajataca Dam could lead to “life-threatening flash flooding downstream on the Rio Guajataca River.”

“This is a difficult evacuation due to the vast damage caused to the island by the hurricane,” said Puerto Rico’s secretary of state. “Many parts of the island are flooded and more than three million residents are without power.”

Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

At least seven people were killed by Maria on the island of Guadeloupe. More than 500 shelters were opened, according to Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello. Eye-witnesses said that a large building that was being used as a shelter ended up being right in the path of Maria’s eye and was stripped of its roof. “It looks really bad here,” said a woman who was in the destroyed shelter.



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