Hurricane Maria headed towards the Turks and Caicos archipelago on Friday after lashing Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands, where it left at least 32 people dead, Reuters reported.
While 15 people died in Puerto Rico, 14 were reported dead in Dominica. Two people were killed in the French territory of Guadeloupe and one on the United States Virgin Islands.
The hurricane, though downgraded to Category 2, destroyed homes, caused flooding and cut power supply in Puerto Rico. The Luis Muñoz Marín airport also suffered damage, local daily El Nuevo Dia reported on Thursday. “Once we can go outside, we will find our island destroyed,” Abner Gomez, director of the Puerto Rico State Agency for Emergency and Disaster Management said.
Governor Ricardo Rossello has imposed a dusk to dawn curfew, which will end on Saturday. Rossello has also asked US President Donald Trump to declare the island a disaster area, as there was major damage.
On Thursday, the Fiscal Oversight Board, a federal authority, approved a request from Rossello to allocate up to $1 billion (Rs 6,484 crore) of the government’s current budget for recovery efforts. Trump issued a disaster declaration for Puerto Rico, and the US Federal Emergency Management Administration has promised additional help.
Meanwhile, San Juan Mayor Bernardo Márquez said more than 4,000 people were rescued from flooded areas in the Toa Boja region, where eight people have drowned so far.