Fiona barrels towards Turks and Caicos Islands as a Category 3 hurricane

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Fiona Barrels Towards Turks And Caicos Islands As A Category 3 Hurricane Fiona Barrels Towards Turks And Caicos Islands As A Category 3 Hurricane
Forecasters said Fiona is expected to pass near Grand Turk, the British territory’s capital island. Photo: PA Images
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Danica Coto, Associated Press

Hurricane Fiona is barrelling towards the Turks and Caicos Islands as a Category 3 storm, prompting the government to impose a curfew.

Forecasters said Fiona is expected to pass near Grand Turk, the British territory’s capital island, on Tuesday.

“Storms are unpredictable,” premier Washington Misick said in a statement from London, where he was attending the funeral of the Queen. “You must therefore take every precaution to ensure your safety.”

Flooded streets in Salinas Beach, Puerto Rico (Alejandro Granadillo/AP)

He is scheduled to return home on Thursday.

Early on Tuesday, Fiona was 20 miles south east of Grand Turk Island. It had maximum sustained winds of 115mph and was moving north-north-west at 10mph.

The intensifying storm kept dropping copious rain over the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, where a 58-year-old man died after police said he was swept away by a river in the central mountain town of Comerio.

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Another death was linked to a power blackout — a 70-year-old man was burned to death after he tried to fill his generator with petrol while it was running, officials said.

The National Guard has rescued more than 900 people as floodwaters continue to rush through towns in eastern and southern Puerto Rico with up to 30 inches of rain forecast for some areas. Multiple landslides also were reported.

A submerged vehicle in Salinas, Puerto Rico (Stephanie Rojas/AP)

The blow from Fiona was made more devastating because Puerto Rico has yet to recover from Hurricane Maria, which killed nearly 3,000 people and destroyed the power grid in 2017. Five years later, more than 3,000 homes on the island are still covered by blue tarpaulins.

Authorities said at least 1,300 people and 250 pets remain in shelters across the island.

Fiona sparked a blackout when it hit Puerto Rico’s south-west corner on Sunday, the anniversary of Hurricane Hugo, which slammed into the island in 1989 as a Category 3 storm.

By Tuesday morning, authorities said they had restored power to more than 260,000 customers on the island of 3.2 million people.

Puerto Rico governor Pedro Pierluisi has warned it could take days before everyone has electricity.

Residents replace a roof in the Dominican Republic (Ricardo Hernandez/AP)

Water service was cut to more than 837,000 properties — two-thirds of the total on the island — because of cloudy water at filtration plants or lack of power, officials said.

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In the Dominican Republic, authorities reported one death: a man hit by a falling tree. The storm displaced more than 12,400 people and cut off at least two communities.

The hurricane left several highways blocked, and a tourist pier in the town of Miches was badly damaged by high waves. At least four international airports were closed, officials said.

Dominican President Luis Abinader said authorities would need several days to assess the storm’s effects.

Fiona previously battered the eastern Caribbean, killing one man in the French territory of Guadeloupe when floodwaters washed his home away, officials said.

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