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Events canceled in wake of Hurricane Fiona’s devastation

Hurricane Fiona left a trail of devastation as it made its way across Puerto Rico that has also led to postponements of events in the public and private sectors, as well as academia.

The Puerto Rico Builders Association announced it will reschedule its convention that was slated for Sept. 20-21 until further notice. The event was to discuss its “Roadmap to Recovery.”

Furthermore, the professional group offered up its knowledge and expertise in the construction area, in the face of the damage caused by this atmospheric event, said the association’s President, Vanessa de Mari Monserrate.

“Right now, our focus is to show solidarity and contribute with what we can to the recovery of the areas that have been severely affected by the passage of Hurricane Fiona throughout our island,” she said.

As for the annual convention, she said Hurricane Fiona’s passage hampers plans to discuss construction and economic development topics.

“The passage of Hurricane Fiona prevents us from meeting this week to discuss these important issues, especially reconstruction, which now more than ever is extremely timely,” she said.

“Ensuring the safety of all our guests and understanding what many still continue to experience today with the passing of the hurricane, we have decided to postpone the event until further notice,” she said.

DDEC job fair postponed in Canóvanas
The Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC, in Spanish) has postponed until further notice a recruitment fair that it had scheduled for Sept. 21 in Canóvanas, agency Secretary Manuel Cidre said.

The recruitment event was organized by the DDEC’s Labor Development Program.

“Once the emergency situation is normalized, we will be announcing the new date of the recruitment fair through our social networks and media,” Cidre said.

Universities alter schedules
Several colleges across Puerto Rico also announced the suspension of work and classes at their institutions.

The InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico extended the recess of classes and administrative activities at all its campuses through today.

“We’re very aware of the situation that our people and many of our students and collaborators are experiencing because of the passage of Hurricane Fiona through our island,” said InterAmerican University’s Interim President Rafael Ramírez-Rivera.

“To each one of those who are part of our Inter family, who have been affected, goes our hug of solidarity. Given this situation, we’ve decreed an academic and administrative recess for [today]. We will be evaluating the weather conditions daily to make the appropriate decisions,” he said.

He urged students, faculty, and staff to follow the university’s emergency alert system and its social media channels to learn about the changes in the resumption of classes and work.

Antillean Adventist University remains closed
Antillean Adventist University also announced the suspension of classes and work at its campus today, in response to the hurricane. Once the weather conditions improve and the campus is ready to receive the university community, the institution will notify the resumption of activities.

Pontifical Catholic suspends classes through Sept. 26
The Mayagüez, Arecibo and Ponce campuses of the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico has suspended academic activities through Sept. 26, its president Jorge Iván Vélez-Arocho announced.

“The ravages of Hurricane Fiona continue to affect all of Puerto Rico. Given this scenario, we recognize the challenges faced by the entire university community due to the damage and the lack of electricity or drinking water,” he said.

Although the academic schedule will resume next week, the Pontifical Catholic University’s Infrastructure and Conservation staff must report back Sept. 21 to rehabilitate the campuses. The administrative staff will return to their work areas Sept. 23.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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