Miami, Sep 19 (EFE).- Hurricane Fiona made landfall on Monday morning in the Dominican Republic packing maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers (90 miles) per hour, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC).
The eye of the third such storm of the Atlantic hurricane season made landfall some 55 kilometers (35 miles) from Samana in the eastern region of the island nation at 3:30 am local time.
A hurricane warning has been issued in the north coast of the island, from Cape Caucedo to Cape Frances Viejo, as well as in the Turks and Caicos Islands, NHC said.
Fiona is presently moving over the eastern Dominican Republic and will approach the eastern portion of the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday.
The Category 1 storm on the 5-point Saffir-Simpson scale brings not only the risk of torrential rain, but also flooding, mudslides, storm surge and strong ocean riptide currents.
The NHC warned that the winds could cause damage to well-constructed wooden homes, especially to the roofs, the roof tiles, vinyl siding and gutters.
On Sunday, the storm’s fury brought down trees and power lines in southwest Puerto Rico, causing the local electric grid to go down, plunging virtually all the island into the dark.
Puerto Rico’s electric grid is very fragile, especially since Hurricane Maria, which five years ago devastated the island and virtually wiped out its electrical network, leaving a large portion of the public without power for months.
So far during this year’s Atlantic storm season, which began on June 1 and will end on November 30, there have been three hurricanes – Danielle, Earl and Fiona – along with Tropical Storms Alex, Bonnie and Colin. EFE