Dam failure ‘imminent’ in northwest Puerto Rico, evacuations underway


PUBLISHED Fri, September 22, 2017 - 2:42pm EDT


A dam on Guajataca Lake in northwest Puerto Rico is at risk of imminent failure, which could result in life-threatening flash flooding on the Rio Guajataca river, officials say. An evacuation has been ordered for the communities of Isabela and Quebradillas.





Dam operators reported at 4:10 p.m. ET on Friday that a failure of the Guajataca Dam was "imminent," according to the National Weather Service. A failure would result in flash flooding that would move downstream on the Rio Guajataca river.

"This is a FLASH FLOOD EMERGENCY for ISABELLA, QUEBRADILLAS and SURROUNDING AREAS. SEEK HIGHER GROUND NOW!", the agency said in a warning. "This is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation."

The agency added: "Move to higher ground now. Act quickly to protect your life. Authorities have ordered an evacuation of Isabella and Quebradillas. Buses are evacuating people from these areas. Please heed instructions from authorities."

Earlier in the afternoon, the National Weather Service had issued a warning which said the dam was "failing" and suggested that flash flooding was already occurring. The agency issued an update at 4:21 p.m. which said the dam had not yet failed, but continued to urge residents to evacuate immediately.

There was no immediate word from the ground to confirm the severity of the situation, but Puerto Rico has been hit hard by Hurricane Maria, which made landfall on Wednesday afternoon. The storm caused major damage, an island-wide power failure, and killed at least 13 people.

Guajataca Lake was constructed in 1929 to provide a public water and irrigation water supply. Quebradillas, which is home to about 26,000 people, is located roughly 5 miles (8 kilometers) north of the lake, while Isabela - which is home to 45,000 people - is located 9.5 miles (15 kilometers) to the northwest.





  Puerto Rico     

 



LEAVE COMMENTS



.

 


Happening Now

Powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake hits southern Mexico

‘Active shooter’ scare at Highline College in Des Moines, Washington

New York twin brothers arrested in bomb-making scheme

Massachusetts: Graciela Paulino charged with fatal shooting in Lowell

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney announces Utah Senate bid





BNO NEWS RADIO


Listen to "BNO News - Breaking News Radio" on Spreaker.




SIGN-UP - BREAKING NEWS ALERTS



Just want the important news? Sign up now for the fastest email alerts from BNO News. Click here to get started!




LIVE WIRE


Powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake hits southern Mexico

‘Active shooter’ scare at Highline College in Des Moines, Washington

Massachusetts: Graciela Paulino charged with fatal shooting in Lowell

Lockdown at North Broward Preparatory School in Coconut Creek, Florida

WATCH LIVE: Local TV coverage of Florida high school shooting





VIDEOS


Trump blocks release of Democratic memo on Russia probe

Strong earthquake hits northeast Taiwan, killing at least 2

British court upholds arrest warrant against Julian Assange

‘Glee’ star Mark Salling found dead in apparent suicide

Canadian billionaire and wife were murdered, police say