LA County search-and-rescue dogs heading to Puerto Rico

Killeen area residents affected by Hurricane Maria

Authorities launched an evacuation of the 70,000 people living downstream from the Guajataca Dam in northwest Puerto Rico, sending buses to move people away Friday and posting frantic warnings on Twitter that went unseen by many in the blacked-out coastal area.

Residents of the area were being ferried to higher ground in buses, according to bulletins issued by the National Weather Service from its office in San Juan, the capital of the US island territory.

"That could delay economic recovery for the entire island", Donner said. "I think in the past three days, I haven't slept for more than eight hours".

"This is an absolute crisis", 44-year-old Alana Yendez said as she cradled her 2-month-old grandson and gave him a bottle of scarce baby formula in the Santurce section of San Juan. And now I'm starting to see it, for the first time, the water to go down. It followed Hurricane Harvey, which also killed more than 80 people when it struck Texas in late August and caused flooding in Houston.

DAVILA SANTANA, Salinas Resident (through interpreter): It came when my son said that we have lost everything. The Democratic governor said Thursday that NY will also be delivering emergency supplies on a plane donated by JetBlue and providing specialists to help fix the island's devastated power structure.

Also hitting Puerto Rico, it was the strongest storm in more than 80 years to sweep across the country - flattening homes and plunging the island into darkness after taking down power lines.

In the wake of Maria, FEMA headquarters emailed daily statements outlining efforts to get resources to the island.

Wise told the Blade there is no electricity, telephone or internet service on St. Croix. Torrential downpours from the storm sent several rivers to record flood levels.

Aerial footage of the dam, inundated by days of heavy rain from Hurricane Maria's passage over the island of Puerto Rico, revealed a torrential flow of water to the river below.

Puerto Rican public safety officials confirmed six deaths, while the governor separately put the figure at 13.

Geraldo Ramirez, 36, in his home on Calle San Miguel in the La Perla neighborhood the day after Hurricane Maria made landfall on September 21, 2017 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Villaronga still has relatives in Puerto Rico and has heard from a couple of them through the Internet.

Elsewhere in the Caribbean, 14 deaths were reported on Dominica, an island nation of 71,000 inhabitants. Sailors and marines in the region were conducting damage assessment flights, beach assessments and evacuating patients from a hospital in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Two people died in the Dominican Republic on Thursday, according to media outlet El Jaya.

By Friday afternoon, Maria was passing about 295 miles east of the central Bahamas with top sustained winds of 125 mph.

"This storm crushed us from one end of the island to the other".

The island commonwealth of 3.4 million USA citizens is dependent on sea commerce in normal times for food and fuel, including fuel oil for its power plants.

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