Fissures in Puerto Rico dam: Evacuations begin along Guajataca River

ANI | Updated: Sep 23, 2017 12:13 IST

San Juan [Puerto Rico], September 23 (ANI):As many as 70,000 people in northwestern Puerto Rico were ordered to be immediately evacuated amid fears that a dam holding back a large inland lake was about to collapse because of fissures developed from Hurricane Maria's floodwaters.

All people living near the Guajataca River in northwest Puerto Rico should evacuate immediately because of an "imminent dam break," the National Weather Service in San Juan said Friday afternoon.

Puerto Rican Secretary of State Luis Gerardo Rivera Marín said the evacuations are difficult because the island was heavily damaged by Hurricane Maria, which struck earlier this week. Many parts of Puerto Rico are flooded and more than 3 million people don't have electricity.

The dam suffered a "fissure,Residents in the municipalities of Quebradillas, Isabela and part of San Sebastian could be affected if the dam collapses,and it could be a catastrophic event," Wshington Post quoted Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello as saying.

The dam was constructed by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to create a lake that provides drinking water to residents of the area, according to the US Geological Survey.(ANI)

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