National Weather Service

Failing dam deepens the post-hurricane crisis in powerless Puerto Rico

Failing dam deepens the post-hurricane crisis in powerless Puerto Rico

The evacuation of tens of thousands of residents who live near a failing dam in northwest Puerto Rico continued Saturday, as fears of more deaths gripped the U.S. territory, days after Hurricane Maria tore across the island.

Officials warned that the Guajataca Dam, about 70 miles west of San Juan, was in “imminent” danger of failure. The dam, built around 1928, supplies drinking and irrigation water to residents of towns in the municipalities of Isabela and Quebradillas. The National Weather Service issued a flash-flood warning for towns downstream from the dam because of its possible failure.

Nowhere was safe. In the capital of San Juan, flash-flooding alerts continued. The...

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