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Hurricane warning issued for Puerto Rico as Tropical Storm Fiona approaches

HAVANA (AP) Tropical Storm Fiona was likely to turn into a hurricane since it neared Puerto Rico on Saturday, threatening to dump around 20 inches (51 centimeters) of rain as people braced for potential landslides, severe flooding and power outages.

The storm previously battered various eastern Caribbean islands, with one death reported in the French territory of Guadeloupe. Regional prefect Alexandre Rochatte told reporters Saturday that your body was on the side of a road after floods washed away a house in the administrative centre of Basse-Terre. A lot more than 20 other folks were rescued amid heavy wind and rain that left 13,000 customers without power.

Fiona was located 130 miles (210 kilometers) southeast of St. Croix Saturday morning with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph). It had been moving west at 8 mph (13 kph) on a path forecast to pass near or higher Puerto Rico on Sunday night. Fiona was likely to turn into a hurricane while moving near Puerto Rico.

We have been already beginning to feel its effects, said Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi. We ought to not underestimate this storm.

He said the heavy rains anticipated are dangerous as the islands soil has already been saturated. Meanwhile, many Puerto Ricans concerned about serious power outages because the reconstruction of the hawaiian islands power grid razed by Hurricane Maria in 2017 only recently began. The grid remains fragile and power outages occur daily.

Fiona is likely to swipe at night Dominican Republic on Sunday as a potential hurricane and Haiti and the Turks and Caicos Islands on Monday and Tuesday with the risk of extreme rain.

Forecaster issued a hurricane watch out for the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with the southern coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engao westward to Cabo Caucedo and for the northern coast from Cabo Engao westward to Puerto Plata.

In Puerto Rico, authorities opened shelters and closed public beaches, casinos, theaters and museums because they urged visitors to remain indoors. Officials also transferred a huge selection of endangered Puerto Rican parrots with their shelter.

Its time and energy to activate your emergency plan and contact and help your relatives, especially elderly adults who live alone, said Dr. Gloria Amador, who runs a nonprofit health organization in central Puerto Rico.

Pierluisi said $550 million in emergency funds can be found to cope with the storms aftermath alongside enough food to feed 200,000 people for 20 days 3 x each day.

A minumum of one cruise liner visit and many flights to the island were canceled, while authorities in the eastern Caribbean islands canceled school and prohibited folks from practicing aquatic sports as Fiona battered the spot.

In the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, authorities said they recorded gusts of wind as high as 74 mph (120 kph), which may certainly be a Category 1 hurricane. In addition they said 9 inches (23 centimeters) of rain fell in three hours in the Gros Morne area.

Fiona, that is the Atlantic hurricane seasons sixth named storm, was predicted to create 5 to 10 inches (13 to 25 centimeters) of rain in eastern and southern Puerto Rico, with just as much as 20 inches (51 centimeters) in isolated spots. Rains of 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) were forecast for the Dominican Republic, with around 12 inches (30 centimeters) in places. Life-threatening surf also was possible from Fionas winds, forecasters said.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Lester in the eastern Pacific was on a projected path which could bring landfall close to the Acapulco area on Mexicos southwestern coast Saturday night.

Lester was likely to remain a tropical storm until hitting the Mexican coast. Forecasters warned of potential dangers from heavy rains.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph) late Friday. It had been centered 85 miles (140 kilometers) southeast of Acapulco and moving moving northwest at 10 mph (17 kph).

A tropical storm warning was up from Puerto Escondido to Zihuatanejo. The hurricane center said Lester could drop from 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 centimeters) of rain on the coasts of upper Guerrero state and Michoacan state, with isolated areas getting 12 inches (30 centimeters).

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