Storm Beryl leaves thousands without power in Puerto Rico


SAN JUAN, July 10, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Thousands of Puerto Ricans lost power Monday as driving rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl neared the island, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria 10 months ago.

“The entire government of Puerto Rico is on alert for the passage of Beryl’s remnants, and heavy rain is expected in the local area,” Ricardo Rossello, governor of the US territory, wrote on Facebook.

“We ask citizens to be watchful.”

The US National Weather Service issued an alert for flash floods, with as much as 50 mm (two inches) of rain already recorded on the Caribbean island.

The local Electric Power Authority reported on Facebook that more than 13,000 customers were without service, including those who still do not have power after Hurricane Maria, which struck on its path through the Caribbean last September.

The official death count from the hurricane is 64, but a study by Harvard University and Puerto Rico’s Carlos Albizu University estimated there were as many as 4,645 hurricane-related deaths, many of them attributable to the collapse of the electric power grid.