Evacuations Under Way as Dam in Western Puerto Rico Set to Fail


"Any Puerto Rican around the world right now is just in extreme devastation because we can not communicate with our families".

"I have been in touch with David Lutrell of CEM and here is what we know".

The U.S. military is flying in mobile communications systems to assist cellular and power restoration efforts.

Speaking with CNN Friday morning, Rossello said authorities had rescued almost 700 people from the flooding.

Her husband said he will continue to try to get connected to his family.

Maria, a category three storm with maximum sustained winds of almost 185km/h (115mph), was about 1,030km south-south east from Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, the National Hurricane Center said in its latest update. "I was at work, and couldn't focus, and so I made a decision to leave and see if there was anything I could do to be proactive".

"I am anxious. The last time I talked to my family was Monday". She would depend on Facebook and television to keep her updated in her Hopkinsville, Kentucky, home.

"The most important thing for us is cash to move the things we may receive as donation", said Luke Hingson, president of Brother's Brother Foundation. "Compared to what I went through, this is way worse".

The storm may have caused an estimated $45 billion in damage and lost economic activity across the Caribbean, with at least $30bn of that in Puerto Rico, said Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler at Enki Research in Savannah, Georgia. Although cell phone communication was re-established on the afternoon of Thursday, September 21, the residents of Puerto Rico are still grappling with their lack of power, an issue which does not appear to be leaving them any time soon.

The North Carolina-based nonprofit, which is led by Franklin Graham, the son of televangelist Billy Graham, sends volunteer missions to places around the world affected by natural disasters, war and poverty.

ORTIZ: "Well, to tell you the truth, Mother Nature knows what she does". "At the present time, our greatest interest is to safeguard human lives and evaluate the situation in order to identify the best way possible to help those in need and cooperate with efforts from local authorities". And there's no other route in sight. She's been able to make contact with one cousin through Facebook. "Being a mom, it doesn't matter".

Outside an apartment building, 40-year-old tourism company operator Adrian Pacheco recounted how he spent eight hours in a stairwell huddled with 100 other residents when the hurricane ripped the storm shutters off his building and wrecked three balconies.

"I hope they are alive".

She's also very concerned for her friend Mirte Castro, who has grandchildren in the continental United States asking about her status.

The Guajataca Dam is 120 feet high and almost 1,000 feet long and built in 1929 by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.