Puerto Rico braces for new hurricane season

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San Juan, June 2 (IANS) Puerto Rico is bracing for a new hurricane season just eight months after hurricane Maria, a category 4 storm, slammed into the island causing a major electricity crisis, the media reported.

Maria hit Puerto Rico in September and wiped out the US territory’s power grid, leaving the entire island in the dark, reports CNN.

With the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season under way as of Friday, the desperation among those still without power had led some to take deadly risks to get it back.

“You see it in the eyes of the people, the frustration,” Utuado Mayor Ernesto Irizarry told CNN on Friday.

Irizarry said that his city was not prepared for another storm.

Authorities in the cities of Arroyo, Bayamon, San Juan, Anasco, Salinas and Toa Baja said the vulnerable power grid would be the biggest issue if the island was hit soon.

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Just weeks ago, an island-wide blackout was caused by a fallen tree, according to the Puerto Rico Power Authority (PREPA).

“I think the most honest thing to say about our grid is that it’s weak or fragile,” Walt Higgins, the new CEO of PREPA, told CNN.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expects the season, which began June 1, to be “near-or above normal” — but not to the same degree seen last year.

Aerial view reveals hundreds of homes is the island country still depending on blue tarps to provide shelter in homes.

While the US Army Corps of Engineers has completed the majority of debris removal, the cleanup continues.

Hurricane Maria was one of the worst natural disasters on record to affect Puerto Rico. Sixty-four people were killed in the island.

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–IANS

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