Evacuations in Puerto Rico over possible dam burst
San Juan: People living near the Guajataca River in Puerto Rico were evacuated because a dam in the area was at risk of bursting, the media reported.
After Hurricane Maria directly hit the US territory two weeks ago, the dam has had a higher load than usual and recent rains have contributed to pressure on the dam, Efe news reported.
On September 22, the authorities ordered the clearing of areas near Quebradilla and Isabela, and on Saturday, the security forces went to the area to ensure their orders were followed and to evacuate those who have not yet left.
Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló, met with the commander of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, as well as with representatives of the Federal Agency for the Management of Emergencies (FEMA) and the Puerto Rican Electricity Authority (AEE), in order to assess the next steps of the joint effort for the island to recover electric power.
Only five per cent of AEE subscribers have electricity.
In addition, USACE presented part of the team that will remain in Puerto Rico to assist in these tasks, to be led by its Director of Contingency Operations and National Security in Washington D.C., Jose Sanchez.
Meanwhile, police reported that several floodgates of the Lake La Plata dam, located in Toa Baja, in the north of the island, will be opened.
Puerto Rico's Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (AAA) executive president Elí Díaz reported that, in addition to measures taken to evict several citizens, a plan to contain the dam is underway.
"We are working with the US Corps of Engineers on solutions to mitigate dam damage," said Diaz, adding that the tasks to that end "are already in place".