In Brief
Puerto Rican officials are working to protect 70,000 people in the danger zone of a failing dam in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The National Weather Service can detect the failure and warn people before the dam fails thanks to early warning technology.

Deepening Crisis

Friday afternoon Puerto Rican officials urged 70,000 people in the vicinity of the Rio Guajataca, including the northwestern communities of Quebradillas, Isabela, and the surrounding areas, to evacuate immediately. The 37-meter (120-feet) high Guajataca Dam was threatening to fail, its collapse characterized by the authorities as “imminent.”

“This is an EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SITUATION. Buses are currently evacuating people from the area as quickly as they can,” the National Weather Service (NWS) in San Juan said in a statement. Warnings were also issued via social media.