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Puerto Rico braces for storm Dorian, among first Evaluations since 2017

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) — Puerto Rico braced on Wednesday for the arrival of Tropical Storm Dorian, among the island’s first significant evaluations since catastrophic hurricanes struck in 2017.

Puerto Rico is still fighting to recuperate from these back-to-back hurricanes which killed about 3,000 people only months after the land filed for bankruptcy to restructure $120 billion of debt and pension obligations.

Was criticized over the answer to the 2017 storms,” the White House said in a statement that President Donald Trump had accepted an emergency announcement for Puerto Rico overdue on Tuesday, permitting for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist in communicating with continuing crisis preparedness efforts.

“We’re far better prepared than when Hurricane Maria assaulted our island,” Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vazquez explained during a televised news conference.

Vazquez, who took office after political turmoil resulted in the resignation of his predecessor, said preparations for the storm had been 90% finish, culminating with the introduction of crisis shelters.

Infrastructure which ranges from electrical power lines to banking and telecommunications systems were in better shape than they’d been in 2017, she added.

The Dominican Republic also awakened storm training on Tuesday. Juan Manuel Mendez, director of the emergency operations center, said police had identified 3,000 buildings which may be converted into shelters, together with the potential for as many as 800,000 people.

In Puerto Rico, public schools will be closed Wednesday, and federal employees are instructed to remain home, Vazquez said.

Carnival Cruise Line affirmed the modifications. Royal Caribbean didn’t immediately respond.

Dorian is anticipated to dump 3 to 5 inches (8-13 cm) of rain to Florida as it reaches the country at the southeast United States, the NHC said.