Hurricane Maria Live Updates: Puerto Rico Faces Recovery Challenges

In Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria Brings 'Widespread Damage And Widespread Flooding'

A sweltering crowd of people anxious to leave the island filled the terminal which had no power.

Hurricane Maria has killed 15 people in Puerto Rico to date, and 20 more in other Caribbean islands, and followed in the footsteps of Hurricane Irma, which also caused devastation when it swept through Puerto Rico en route to Florida.

"This is just the beginning", Governor Ricardo Rosselló said in an interview with El Nuevo Día, the largest daily newspaper in Puerto Rico.

Jennifer Lopez says she hasn't heard from family members in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria devastated the island on Wednesday. That, in turn, would allow the westerlies to dip southward and, if the timing is right, "shove Maria out to sea", Kattlowski said.

Complicating matters further, the power authority is bankrupt, carrying some $9 billion in outstanding debt and still reeling from the $400 million in damages inflicted by Hurricane Irma.

"We have fuel, but we don't have the way to take the fuel to the hospitals".

At around 2:30p.m. Friday afternoon, a dam in the northwestern part of the island failed, leading the National Weather Service to declare a "flash flood emergency". And gradually now, the water is starting to recede.

Authorities launched an evacuation of the 70,000 people living downstream from the Guajataca Dam in northwest Puerto Rico, sending buses to move people away Friday and posting frantic warnings on Twitter that went unseen by many in the blacked-out coastal area. It's a reservoir, and they can't open the compartments so that the water can go out because there's too much pressure.

The storm was about 420 miles east southeast of Nassau in the Bahamas by midafternoon, according to the National Hurricane Center.

That's left thousands of people like Dianne Maldonado, a 19-year-old student at Columbus State University, scrambling to find news about the safety of their family and friends. "Until late last night, there was no means of accessing, or even communicating with, Dominicans", Hartley said. The northern coast is still being battered and heavy rains have triggered flooding.

In both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Red Cross volunteers have been working in close collaboration with local officials and community partners to coordinate response and relief efforts.

Strong winds were recorded in the Dominican Republic on Thursday due to Maria but there were no immediate reports of casualties or serious damage. In addition, he also hosts the annual Very Melo Weekend, where his foundation holds fundraising events throughout the island.

Hurricane Maria's wrath left some of the area's residents homeless.

The timeliness of Federal Emergency Management Agency funds will play into how quickly Puerto Rico gets back on its feet, Hitchcock said. "The result is that people across the Caribbean will need to wait longer for support".

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