San Juan – The commissioner of the Bureau for Emergency Management and Disaster Administration (NMEAD), Nino Correa Filomeno, together with the Commissioner of the Police, Henry Escalera Rivera and the meteorologist Ernesto Morales of the National Meteorological Service (SNM), urged on Thursday to citizens to be vigilant in the presence of a trough and tropical wave that could leave a considerable amount of rain in the region.
“During the past few days, our area has received considerable amounts of rain, so the lands are saturated and there is a greater risk of floods and landslides. Starting this afternoon, heavy rains associated with an atmospheric system are expected and this scenario could continue until the weekend. I call on the public to be prudent and rule out visiting beaches or rivers. Although there is no apparent bad weather in the sector, runoff caused by rains in high areas can cause a rise in river levels and bad weather associated with the combination of a trough and tropical wave can deteriorate maritime conditions . We request that you exercise caution, that you do not risk your life or that of our rescuers, “said Correa Filomeno in a written communication.
Meanwhile, the meteorologist Ernesto Morales, Coordinator of Warnings of the National Meteorological Service explained that several alerts have been issued because of this system.
“Puerto Rico is expected to receive between two and four inches of rain in portions of the eastern zone and between one and three inches for the rest of the island, which can represent potential danger in areas vulnerable to floods and landslides. For this reason, a flash flood watch has been issued for all of Puerto Rico, including the municipal islands of Vieques and Culebra. This will be in effect until Friday afternoon. However, during the day, new alerts or warnings may be issued according to the magnitude of the event. Similarly, a warning is in effect for small boat operators for offshore Atlantic waters. The wave forecast is up to seven feet in the Atlantic and up to five feet in the Caribbean Sea, ”Morales explained.
Officials urged people residing in floodplains to take the appropriate measures and, if necessary, move to the residences of family or friends if they understand that there is a risk to their safety.
In these cases, they must observe the measures reported by the Department of Health to prevent contagion with COVID-19.
On the other hand, the Commissioner of the Police Bureau, Henry Escalera Rivera, appealed to the good judgment of the citizens when carrying out their activities for the weekend.
“This is not the time to visit beaches, rivers or bodies of water. It is important for citizens to remember that when they enter a body of water under dangerous conditions, they put their lives, that of the police and rescue teams who are mobilized to attend the emergency, at risk. I urge the residents of the coasts to guide them if they see someone entering the sea and, if necessary, contact the authorities to intervene. Our personnel will remain on preventive patrols along the coasts and attend to any situation that is reported, ”said Escalera Rivera.
The officials recalled that the police areas as well as the operational areas of the NMEAD will remain active and vigilant in any eventuality.
As usual, they will maintain direct communication with the Municipal Offices for Emergency Management (OMME) and the Municipal Police.
It is important that if any citizen has an emergency, they call or text 9-1-1 to request assistance from the appropriate agencies.