Puerto Rico's Governor Wanda Vázquez has declared a state of emergency in view of the fast-approaching Tropical storm dorian. It could become a hurricane before striking Puerto Rico, which could lead to power outages and heavy rains. Hundreds of Puerto Ricans are stocking up on essential supplies like food, water and power generators because once the disaster strikes life could be thrown out of gear.

That happened in 2017 when Hurricane Maria unleashed its fury on unsuspecting people and wreaked havoc. The island has not yet recovered from the destruction of Maria with the electrical grid still fragile and prone to outages during short spells of rains. Many homes still use tarpaulins as roofs.

Daily Mail UK reports that Storm Dorian could pass near or south of Puerto Rico and move on to the Dominican Republic.

The Governor has declared a state of emergency and said, “I want everyone to feel calm…. The experience of Maria has been a great lesson for everyone.” She has also listed out the new equipment procured by public agencies since the 2017 hurricane.

Preventive measures taken

There will be closure of public schools Tuesday afternoon.

Puerto Rico is a Travel destination and at least one cruise ship has canceled its trip. There are 360 shelters set up around the island and those who do not have a proper roof over their heads can make use of these. The US National Hurricane Center says the storm could be accompanied by strong winds with speeds of nearly 50 miles per hour and will gain in strength as it moves toward Puerto Rico. There could be rainfall of between 3 to 8 inches.

Daily Mail UK quotes the center as saying, “Dorian is forecast to be a hurricane when it moves near Puerto Rico and eastern Hispaniola.”

Tropical Storm Dorian could target Florida

According to CNN, tropical Storm Dorian is moving across the Caribbean and heading towards Puerto Rico.

The National Hurricane Center has issued a tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch for the island. The storm could probably pass near, or just south of the island and gradually become a strong tropical storm. The interpretation of a hurricane watch is the possibility of hurricane conditions within 48 hours. However, a tropical storm warning would mean tropical storm conditions could be expected within 36 hours.

Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced said, "I urge citizens to activate their emergency plan with caution and peace of mind." The government has arranged shelters to cater to 48,500 residents. In addition, about 70 hospitals were identified to handle emergencies. By the end of the week, Dorian could move into the southeastern parts of the US and reach the Florida peninsula this weekend as a tropical storm. With memories of Hurricane Maria still fresh in their memories, Puerto Ricans will be cautious and take necessary action to remain safe. Dorian is the fourth named storm of this hurricane season.

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