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Dam failure sparks Puerto Rico flash flood emergency

In the wake of deadly Hurricane Maria, a mass evacuation is underway, with tens of thousands at risk

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Dam failure sparks Puerto Rico flash flood emergency

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Having left more than 30 dead in the Caribbean, Hurricane Maria’s destructive impact is not over yet.

After ravaging the US island territory of Puerto Rico, tens of thousands of people there are now at risk from flash flooding from a failing dam on the rain-swollen Guajataca River in the northwest.

“This is an extremely dangerous situation,” the National Weather Service’s San Juan office warned, saying buses were evacuating locals from the area.



Roughly 70,000 people live in the area downstream from the dam that was under evacuation.

Described as the strongest hurricane to strike Puerto Rico in living memory, Maria hit the island as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday, triggering widespread flooding, ripping roofs from buildings and tearing down trees.

It also knocked out power to the island and it could be several months before electricity is restored to all of the more than 3 million inhabitants.



Now a Category 3, Maria, the second major hurricane to wreak havoc in the Caribbean this month, is expected to gradually weaken during the coming days.

More than two months remain in the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, although the busiest period is generally from mid-August to mid-October.


with Reuters