Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló urges citizens to evacuate flood-prone areas
(September 5, 2017 – San Juan) Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, announced that the National Guard and the Puerto Rico Police will begin to evacuate flood-prone areas in the North and East of the Island, due to the imminent passage of Hurricane Irma tomorrow through the local area, for the purpose of safeguarding the lives of the residents of these zones.
The governor urged the citizens to cooperate with the relocation and warned that those who refuse to move to a shelter, or the safe house of a relative or friend, could be evicted from their residences to preserve their safety under Law 211 of 1999.
Rosselló urged mayors to contact the Puerto Rico State Agency for Emergency and Disaster Management (AEMEAD, per its Spanish acronym).
Governor Rosselló appointed Omar Negrón—an adviser of Municipal Affairs of La Fortaleza—as a liaison to coordinate the relocations. The mayors of these municipalities have the primary responsibility of identifying the citizens who need relocation.
On the other hand, Rosselló informed that the president of the United States, Donald Trump, signed the request to declare a state of emergency for the Island prior to the disaster.
Meanwhile, Police Superintendent Michelle Hernández confirmed that a 75-year-old man died in Orocovis while preparing for the hurricane.
The director of AEMEAD, Abner Gómez, reported that the Emergency Operations Center (COE, per its Spanish acronym) was activated from today at noon.
The Government of Puerto Rico has 456 shelters available with capacity for 63,229 people. AEMEAD reported that 156 shelters have been activated at the request of the municipalities.
The Puerto Rico Department of Family Affairs and the Puerto Rico Police Department will collaborate to serve the homeless population that needs to move to a shelter.
The president of Hogares CREA Inc., Héctor L. Figueroa, made available to the Government 17 of his institution’s residences to serve as shelters for the homeless and people with addiction problems.
In addition, the phone line (787) 771-6989 is currently active to request information on the location of shelters, and the website www.temporadadehuracanes.pr.gov is also available.
Likewise, in response to the governor's call, a group of doctors and the non-profit organization Haiti se Pone de Pievolunteered to assist the Government in the case of an emergency.
At the same time, Aerostar reported that most of the commercial air operations will be suspended from tomorrow at 10:00 a. m. until the hurricane passes through the local area, and it is estimated that work would resume on Thursday afternoon.
The airport will remain available for military and emergency operations.
Aerostar will work to restart operations in 24 hours or less after the passage of the atmospheric phenomenon.
Aerostar recommends that passengers stay in touch with their airline for constant updates or check the Facebook page of the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport.