The tropical storm was moving in the direction of the Dominican Republic and Haiti south of Puerto Rico early Wednesday, and forecasters warned that its heavy rains could cause dangerous flooding and landslides.
After a quiet month without unnamed storms in the region, Fred became the sixth name of the Atlantic hurricane season on Tuesday night as expected. The US already has tropical storm clocks in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
“The most important thing today is the product,” said Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierre Lucci. “I’m not going to minimize the potential impact of this event. We expect a lot of rain.”
The rain has already hit the North Caribbean and some power outages have been reported in Puerto Rico, where the Luma, which is responsible for the island’s transmission and distribution system, has warned that anyone who relies on electricity for critical medical devices should implement their plans.
“Puerto Rico’s electric power transmission and distribution system continues to be weak,” the company said on Twitter, referring to the catastrophic power outage after Hurricane Maria in September 2017.
Fred was 190 kilometers (115 miles) east-southwest of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic early Wednesday morning and was moving west-northwest at a speed of 26 km / h (16 miles), according to the United States National Hurricane Center. The maximum wind speed was 65 km / h (40 mph).
The Dominican Republic, Haiti and central and eastern Cuba could be affected by the storm and the people of Florida were asked to be aware of the news. According to forecasters, Fred will advance to Hispaniola or located in the Dominican Republic and Haiti – passing Wednesday, then advancing Thursday to the Turks and Caicos Islands and south of the Bahamas. According to the forecast, the meteorite will move north to the northern coast of central Cuba on Friday.
Pierlucci said government agencies would close early and officials said some gas stations were closed because they had run out of fuel. Heavy rain was forecast overnight.
Eight shelters were set up in different parts of the island, although before dark before authorities announced that only seven had been registered.
“Don’t wait for the last mobilization,” said Puerto Rico Emergency Management Commissioner Nino Correa. “We do not want casualties.”
It has been more than a month since Hurricane Elsa, the last Atlantic storm, but it’s usually the busiest time of the hurricane season.
The epicenter was reported below the Pacific Ocean floor, however; no tsunami alert was issued. In addition, Haiti had an intensive surveillance consultation from the border with the Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas.
The meteorite is expected to pour 5 to 10 centimeters (2 to 4 inches) of water over Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, up to 15 centimeters (6 inches) in some areas.
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