The Signal

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Thursday December 8th

Hurricane Fiona’s Devastating Impact on Puerto Rico

<p>With winds of up to 130 mph, Hurricane Fiona has caused more than 1,000,000 people to live without running water or electricity, and the rainfall has contributed to countless landslides and flooding (Flickr/“<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/thenationalguard/52369664378/in/photolist-8x5MeG-C2rMpY-2nMKagT-2nMCckd-2nMJdFU-8xyMBm-2nMJBGQ-2nMJdHx-2nNjCnH" target="">The National Guard</a>” by Puerto Rico National Guard. September 19, 2022). </p>

With winds of up to 130 mph, Hurricane Fiona has caused more than 1,000,000 people to live without running water or electricity, and the rainfall has contributed to countless landslides and flooding (Flickr/“The National Guard” by Puerto Rico National Guard. September 19, 2022). 

By Aneri Upadhyay

Staff Writer

Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico as a Category 1 hurricane and evolved into a Category 4 hurricane, only growing as it moved to Bermuda. According to the National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service, there is a hurricane warning in place for Bermuda in preparation. 

The storm formed around Sept. 15, becoming a hurricane on Sept. 18. The warm water in the western Atlantic is expected to increase Fiona’s strength even more.

The impact of Hurricane Fiona is devastating in Puerto Rico, especially after Hurricane Maria hit the island in 2017. With an economy that is still recovering, Puerto Rico has to relive the anniversary of Maria with the arrival of Fiona.

Both Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Fiona had devastating impacts on Puerto Rico in different ways. The former was devastating due to its wind power while the latter has damaged Puerto Rico due to the flooding it’s caused.

With winds of up to 130 mph, Hurricane Fiona has caused more than a million people to live without running water or electricity. The south of Puerto Rico has had up to 20 inches of rain and other areas of the country even got 30 inches. This rainfall has contributed to countless landslides and flooding, to the point where the Puerto Rican National Guard had to rescue 21 people from an elderly home, according to NPR. They are still unsure of whether or not there are people in need of help in places that are not as accessible at the moment. 

Many people are also separated from their families due not only to blocked roads but also mudslides that have prevented people from returning to their homes. However, the impact of Hurricane on the lives of citizens in Puerto Rico doesn’t stop there. 

According to CNN, at least five people - either from Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe or the Dominican Republic - have been killed due to Hurricane Fiona. This is enabled by a lack of electricity at hospitals, according to  Latino Rebels. Puerto Rican hospitals even had to move patients due to failed generators. 

As human rights activist Pedro Julio Serrano told ABC News, “It's not a natural disaster. This is a political disaster.”

This stems from the damage Hurricane Fiona has done to Puerto Rico’s already weak economy. The lack of attention to issues concerning water and lack of health care after Maria is frustrating to many in Puerto Rico. The sentiment is exasperated, especially since the country is a U.S. territory and is not receiving enough attention from the Puerto Rican government. According to ABC News, money is being sent over from the United States for power outages but the government is not allocating it properly to help the citizens of Puerto Rico.

Hurricane Fiona is expected to hit Canada on the morning of Sept. 24, and it is predicted to be one of the worst storms the country has experienced, with an ocean surge of 5 feet according to The Washington Post. The continental United States is not expected to be impacted other than strong winds in the northeast and taller waves.  




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