Puerto Rico declares state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Irma

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 04, 2017 1:39 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló on Monday declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard in preparation for the landfall of Irma, a dangerous Category 3 hurricane.

"Despite the economic challenges Puerto Rico is facing, the approved budget has $15 million for the emergency fund," Rosselló said in a statement.

Irma, which is forecast to strengthen on Tuesday night, is set hit the U.S. territory on Wednesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

To help residents prepare for the storm, the Puerto Rican government activated a price freeze on basic necessities, including food and water, medicines, power generators and batteries.

The storm will be the second powerful hurricane to thrash the United States and its territories in as many weeks.

Residents in Texas and Louisiana are still reeling from the devastating effects of the deadly Hurricane Harvey, which dumped several feet of rain and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses when it landed last week.

(Reporting by Alana Wise; Editing by Sandra Maler and Nick Zieminski)