Photo: Puerto Rico
The torrential rains and storms lashing Puerto Rico forced the activation Saturday of emergency plans to deal with dangerous flooding and mudslides in the northern and northeastern parts of the island, the scene of overflowing rivers, flooded highways, power outages and water cuts, authorities said.
“Local emergency management officials report life-threatening flooding in the municipalities of Ceiba, Naguabo, Fajardo, Luquillo and Rio Grande,” the National Weather Service said in a bulletin issued at 1:00 p.m.
It said the heavy rains that hit the island Friday are capable of causing mudslides on steep ground, particularly on the eastern end of the island.
“Don’t drive your vehicle in areas where the highways are covered with water,” because “it can be deeper than it looks,” the Aemead emergency management agency warned, adding that a total of 26 of the 78 municipalities of the U.S. commonwealth are on flood alert.
The fierce rains, the result of a depression in upper atmospheric levels, forced the suspension Saturday of all sports activities and outdoor public events.
Also put on hold was the exhibition of a hurricane hunter aircraft scheduled for this Saturday at Isla Grande Airport, according to Aemead, which also announced that the Rio Blanco on the eastern end of the island had overflowed and closed down several local highways.