Heavy winds from tropical wave kill man in Puerto Rico
Police said Monday that winds ripped off a tree branch that hit 31-year-old Alvin Torres as he cleaned a property in the coastal town of Guayanilla.
Forecasters said the tropical wave south of Puerto Rico was generating winds of up to 40 miles per hour (mph). The cluster of thunderstorms is moving west across the Caribbean Sea.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Monday that shower and thunderstorm activity associated with the wave had been decreasing. However, “strong winds, possibly to tropical storm force, could still be occurring in association with this system” over Puerto Rico and Hispaniola Monday and Tuesday.
The NHC sees the system’s development into a storm as “unlikely.” Its formation chance through 48 hours is pegged at 10%, and at 20% through five days, or “low” probabilities.
The executive director of the Puerto Rico State Agency for Emergency and Disaster Management (Aemead for its Spanish acronym), Ángel Crespo Ortiz, said Monday that the agency was on alert and asked the population to be so as well.
The U.S. National Weather Service anticipated 2 inches to 4 inches of rain and tidal waves from 6 feet to 8 feet, for which it issued an emergency warning to small-vessel operators.
Weather is expected to improve Tuesday.
Crespo Ortiz reiterated earlier Monday, especially to those who reside in southern municipalities, to be “extremely careful,” particularly at beaches and rivers, and to not to travel through areas that are prone to flooding and to remain patient until the situation normalizes.
“Everyone must stay informed through the bulletins issued by the NWS and the different communication outlets. In case of an emergency, they must call 9-1-1,” Crespo Ortiz urged.
This is the second tropical wave to threaten Puerto Rico in less than two weeks. On Aug. 25, Gov. Alejandro García Padilla allowed public employees to be excused early from their jobs due to an approaching system.