Both the Bureau for Emergency Management and Disaster Administration (Nmead) and the Electric Power Authority (PREPA) assure that they are ready to respond to any eventuality in the event that tropical depression 13 continues its cyclonic development and its impact over the Island is greater.
The National Hurricane Center (CNH) issued yesterday afternoon a tropical storm watch for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In the 5:00 p.m. newsletter. of this entity, it was reported that the disturbance maintained maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour (mph) with stronger gusts and with a movement of 21 mph towards the west-northwest.
“There is already a plan developed with personnel that It came from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). We are responding to requests from mayors, situations with municipalities, "said Nino Correa, interim commissioner of the Nmead, in an interview with EL VOCERO. “The interagency, municipal and agency coordinators have been activated, they have all been activated.”
The trajectory predicted by the CNH predicts that the depression would be moving near or north of the Leeward Islands today. Meanwhile, it is expected to move to the north of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico tomorrow.
Likewise, a gradual strengthening is expected and the depression will turn into a tropical storm today. This system could produce 3 to 6 inches of rain during its passage through Puerto Rico until Sunday.
Given this, Correa admitted that between the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) and the municipalities that continue to be affected in the southwest due to earthquakes, further complicate the situation. However, he affirmed that they have the emergency plans ready.
"We have communicated with the National Meteorological Service, they have been very precise in relation to what is happening with the system and the rains that could be expected," said the rescuer .
Likewise, he said that he has been in constant communication with the different mayors to know their needs and keep them informed of what the Nmead is doing.
“The most important thing is calm. We ask people to prepare, but to remain calm. It is the most we need, ”Correa exhorted.
Prepared to respond
Regarding the island's energy system, Carlos Alvarado – PREPA's chief of Technical Operations – said that in the agency they are prepared for the response.
“We as an agency are prepared to respond to any situation in the electrical system. We do not know what the magnitude of the impact of the atmospheric disturbance may be, but we do have the materials, the resources, we have already contacted private companies as we did with the Isaías storm, four companies worked with us to restore the service, "he said. Alvarado to this medium.
“We have the personnel, the contingency plans. We are prepared to deal with the situation as it passes, "he added.
He added that there are five local companies that are pending to provide support, as well as other companies in the United States.
By the end of July, when the island was facing As storm Isaías passed, the country was left in darkness after a breakdown occurred, the cause of which is still being investigated. The electrical failure left 100,000 customers – or an average of 300,000 people – without power shortly before this atmospheric phenomenon hit Puerto Rico.
Coast Guard takes its measures
The Coast Guard established the 'Yankee' Port Condition at 4:00 in the afternoon yesterday for the maritime ports in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in light of the conditions that the atmospheric system could bring, as reported by this entity through written statements.
It was reported that while the 'Yankee' port condition is in effect, the port will be closed to incoming commercial maritime traffic unless the port captain authorizes entry.
“Ocean vessels of 500 gross tons or more, which do not have an approved request to stay in the port, they must have already left the port ”, it was reported in the written statements. It was also said that the "port captain is requesting action from the port maritime community to make final preparations to protect their facilities and vessels from this atmospheric system."
It is anticipated to establish the port condition -called 'Zulu' – at 8:00 am Friday, which means that the port's cargo operations will be suspended and the port will be closed to all maritime traffic unless the movement of the vessel is specifically authorized by the port captain.
The owners of recreational boats to seek safe harbor.