Hurricane “Fiona” left 16 fatalities in Puerto Rico, 528 000 customers remain without power

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The number of fatalities caused by Hurricane “Fiona” in Puerto Rico rose to 16 on September 26, the Government of Puerto Rico reports. The entire island (population 3.1 million) was without power after landfall on September 18. The number of customers without power was at 746 000 on September 26, and at 528 000 early on September 27.

Category 1 Hurricane “Fiona” made landfall along the extreme southwestern coast of Puerto Rico near Punta Tocon at 19:20 UTC on September 18, 2022, with maximum sustained winds of 140 km/h (85 mph) and a minimum central pressure of 986 hPa. This is the first hurricane to make landfall in Puerto Rico since Hurricane “Maria” in 2017.1

Damage to the island was described by government officials as catastrophic.

Fiona brought widespread rain – from 125 to 250 mm (5 to 10 inches) across much of central, eastern and southern parts of the islands, with localized amounts up to 500 mm (20 inches) in the mountainous areas.

The rain triggered life-threatening flash flooding and landslides, trapping residents in the towns of Arecibo, Barranquitas, Caguas, Coqui, Parcelas La Milagrosa and Patillas, according to reports received by the National Weather Service in San Juan.

Strong winds brought by Fiona downed trees, blocked roads, and knocked down power to the entire island (population 3.1 million).

hurricane fiona 1910 puerto rico landfall september 18 2022 bgz
Hurricane “Fiona” at 19:10 UTC on September 18, 2022. Credit: NOAA/GOES-East, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers

The number of fatalities rose to 16 on September 26 – 4 confirmed and 12 still under investigation.2

The number of customers without power dropped to 528 000 early September 27.

References:

1 Hurricane “Fiona” makes landfall in Puerto Rico, causing widespread flooding and massive power outages – The Watchers – September 19, 2022

2 Puerto Rico – Hurricane Fiona update – PAHO – September 26, 2022

Featured image: Hurricane “Fiona” at 19:10 UTC on September 18, 2022. Credit: NOAA/GOES-East, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers

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