Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



WATER WORLD
Dam fails in Puerto Rico, 70,000 told to evacuate
By Hector RETAMAL and Edgardo RODRIGUEZ
San Juan (AFP) Sept 23, 2017


Some 70,000 people have been ordered to evacuate their homes after a rain-swollen dam in Puerto Rico failed in the latest disaster caused by Hurricane Maria.

With the death toll from the storm at 33 across the Caribbean, the National Weather Service office in capital San Juan Friday issued a flash flood warning for people living along the Guajataca River and said the 1920s earthen dam was in danger of collapsing altogether.

"All Areas surrounding the Guajataca River should evacuate NOW. Their lives are in DANGER!," the service said in a tweet. Flooding has already begun downstream, it said.

Shortly thereafter, Governor Ricardo Rossello issued an order for some 70,000 people living in the area in the northwest of the island to get out.

According to the newspaper El Vocero, Public Safety Secretary Hector Pesquera said a drain that normally releases a stream of water from the dam in a controlled fashion had broken.

Instead the busted drain sent water gushing down a ramp-style conduit, eventually washing away huge chunks of soil from the grassy green slope of the dam, according to video on the WeatherNation website.

However the flash flood warning was only due to last until 0600 GMT, the weather service said, suggesting that the river waters were receding.

Puerto Rico was already battling dangerous floods after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island early Wednesday. Rescuers raced against time to reach trapped residents.

Rossello has called Maria the most devastating storm in a century after it destroyed the US territory's electricity and telecommunications infrastructure.

Rossello told CNN the island is lacking communications and the preliminary assessment at this point is 13 fatalities.

"Right now our efforts are to make sure we have everybody safe, that we can rescue people. Our efforts have already produced almost 700 rescues so we're clearly focused on that."

The National Hurricane Center said some areas in Puerto Rico could see 40 inches (more than a meter) of rain from Maria, and Rossello warned of dangerous mudslides brought on by the deluge.

"We have a lot of flooding, we have reports of complete devastation of vulnerable housing. Of course it's still raining over here."

- Coming home -

Maria has been blamed for at least 33 deaths, including 15 in Dominica, three in Haiti and two in Guadeloupe.

After lamenting that Puerto Rico had been "absolutely obliterated" by Maria, US President Donald Trump spoke with Governor Rossello Thursday night and promised to speed up relief efforts.

The northern town of Toa Baja was one of the worst devastated areas -- first ravaged by gusts of more than 200 kilometers per hour, then inundated after the island's largest river, La Plata, overflowed.

Many residents did not evacuate on time, while others say they never heard the warning sirens. Some were returning home after several days away, to clear the heavy mud left by the floodwaters from their homes and start the process of rebuilding.

Marisol Rosario, a 55-year-old housewife who had fled with her husband, said she was forced by the winds to leave their dog behind. "I thought I would find him dead, but he managed to climb on top of the furniture and survive," she said tearfully.

- Network crippled -

The torrential rain had turned some roads into muddy brown rivers, impassable to all but the largest of vehicles.

Toppled trees, street signs and power cables were strewn across roads that were also littered with debris.

Puerto Rico's electricity network has been crippled by the storm and engineers say it could take months for power to be fully restored.

The local electricity board has promised that their priority will be to restore power to hospitals, water treatment plants and pumping stations.

Brock Long, who heads the US federal government's emergency management agency FEMA, said that ships carrying millions of meals and bottled water were trying to dock as the island's ports are slowly reopened.

After devastating Puerto Rico, the storm headed west toward the Dominican Republic where it damaged nearly 5,000 homes and caused more than 18,000 people to evacuate, according to a statement by the office of president Danilo Medina.

As of Friday night, Maria was a Category Three hurricane with winds of 125 miles per hour (205 kilometers per hour), churning in the sea some 365 miles east of the central Bahamas.

Heavy rains and high winds began hitting the archipelago on Thursday afternoon.

The government opened new shelters after several buildings which had been used during Hurricane Irma earlier this month were damaged and authorities feared they might not hold up under another fierce storm.

Maria previously tore through several Caribbean islands, claiming the highest toll on Dominica, which has a population of around 72,000 and has been largely cut off from the outside world.

WATER WORLD
Potential impacts of planned Andean Amazon dams outweigh benefits, scientists say
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 28, 2017
An international team of scientists investigating the effects of six planned or potential Andean dams on the Amazon river system has found that major negative ecological impacts can be expected both above the dams and throughout the lowland floodplains and the Amazon Delta, according to WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia, and other groups. ... read more

Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

WATER WORLD
In Dominica, islanders stand strong despite chaos

Frida, the four-legged heroine of Mexico's quake rescues

Psychologists help Mexico deal with double trauma of quake

NASA Tech Aids Search Following Mexico Quake

WATER WORLD
Space radiation is risky business for the human body

Corrosion in real time

Self-healing gold particles

'Naturally' glowing cotton yields dazzling new threads

WATER WORLD
Veolia's US growth hopes run into trouble

Dam fails in Puerto Rico, 70,000 told to evacuate

Puerto Rico rushes to evacuate many amid fears dam will burst

Wave Glider surfs across stormy Drake Passage in Antarctica

WATER WORLD
Impact of Arctic amplification on East Asian winter climate

Wind, Warm Water Revved Up Melting Antarctic Glaciers

Ice age may have clipped bird migration

Maiden mid-air refuel ensures supplies to Antarctic research station

WATER WORLD
Syngenta chief calls for debate on 'sustainable agriculture'

Food labeling pact aims to cut food waste

At Dubai expo, Chinese firms look to tap lucrative halal market

Research finds roots use chemical 'photos' to coordinate growth

WATER WORLD
New quake shakes traumatized Mexico City

Conditions growing dire in hurricane-hit Puerto Rico

Tens of thousands flee rumbling Bali volcano

Desperate rescue effort after Hurricane Maria toll hits 33

WATER WORLD
C. Africa asks UN to send more peacekeepers, ease arms embargo

Nigerian journalist detained over report on flood camp protest

New ceasefire signed by armed groups

West Africa steps up battle against pirates and poachers

WATER WORLD
Helping Ponso, sole survivor of 'Chimpanzee Island' in I. Coast

Cell phone data coupled with sewage testing show drug use patterns

Trudeau tells UN Canada has failed its indigenous people

Royal tomb of ancient Mayan ruler found in Guatemala




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement