Puerto Rican authorities have begun preparations for the passage of Hurricane Maria, expected to make landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 3 hurricane on Tuesday.
Some 450 shelters have been set up across the territory, with capacity for 67,714 citizens, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said. He also announced public schools would close today, and government employees would work until noon.
If it makes landfall as predicted, María would be the second major hurricane to affect Puerto Rico in two weeks, putting pressure on the U.S. territory’s infrastructure, he said.
“The government is in constant communication with the White House and federal agencies since before the passage of Hurricane Irma last week,” said Carlos Mercader, the governor’s representative in Washington, D.C.,
“We will continue to collaborate with our federal partners. We are preparing for a powerful hurricane that will put even more pressure on our infrastructure, already deeply affected by Hurricane Irma,” he said.
Since Hurricane Irma devastated the Lesser Antilles last week, Puerto Rico has serves as an emergency management hub for the Caribbean region, while working through getting power back to the majority of the island’s population that was in the dark after the storm.
Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority crews have been working round-the-clock to complete the work.
“As we prepare for this atmospheric event, Puerto Rico will continue to offer shelter to our brothers and sisters from the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other island nations and territories affected by Hurricane Irma,” said Rosselló.