Hurricane Fiona hits Puerto Rico

A big thanks to YOU, our amazing supporters, who are helping to provide aid to those impacted by the damaging rains and flooding of Hurricane Fiona. By working closely with partners in the affected areas, we can ensure that your donations only provide medical and humanitarian aid that is wanted, needed and can be used by people on the ground.

Members of Heart to Heart International’s Disaster Response Team were in the mountains of Puerto Rico visiting communities impacted by Hurricane Fiona. We have been partnering with Ponce School of Medicine since the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017 and had the opportunity to travel with their staff to see patients who have been cut off from healthcare access thanks to mudslides and flooding from Hurricane Fiona.

September 23, 2022

The Heart to Heart International advance team is in Puerto Rico, meeting with partners, including Eric Jovan, the Puerto Rico director for Americares and Frank Tolento, a pastor in Caguas, Puerto Rico (both pictured below). The team is assessing medical needs on the ground after Hurricane Fiona slammed the island with winds, torrential rains, and massive flooding. In the meeting with Frank, the team learned of the work his community is doing to support each other and how the work HHI did in response to Hurricane Maria better prepared his community to respond today.

The team is also traveling to hard-hit areas in the southeast portion of the island to assess medical needs with partners.

Almost 2,000 hygiene kits are on their way to COSSAO, a partner since Hurricane Maria hit the island in 2017. This is in addition to the hygiene kits that were pre-positioned with Ponce School of Medicine.

September 19, 2022

Hurricane Fiona made landfall in Puerto Rico over the weekend as a Category 1 hurricane. The heavy rains produced massive flooding and caused an island-wide blackout, which officials warn could take several days to fully restore.

The north portion of Puerto Rico received up to 30 inches of rain in 24 hours and the southern portion had around 24 inches. Only 38 percent of the island has potable water and the power has been out for the majority of the island since Sunday morning. It has also accounted for mudslides and one death in Puerto Rico.

Around 1,700 people in Puerto Rico are in shelters, and officials are performing search and rescue, clearing roads, and waiting for water to recede. Many roads and bridges are not in service, making it difficult to assess the overall severity of the damage.

Members of Heart to Heart International’s disaster response team are deploying to the island later this week to assess needs on the ground and determine the scope of the disaster. We are continuing to connect with our partners in San Juan, Utuado, Caguas, Ponce, and Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, and with our partners in the Dominican Republic to learn their needs.

Heart to Heart International has been working closely with most of these partners in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017. In June of 2022, HHI pre-positioned hygiene kits with the Ponce School of Medicine. Because these kits were pre-positioned, they are ready to be distributed to people in need immediately.

Hurricane Fiona is now a Category 2 storm and continuing to make its way through the Caribbean. Prior to making landfall in Puerto Rico, the storm hit the island of Basse-Terre, part of French overseas territory Guadeloupe, causing heavy damage and one death.

The storm also tore through Dominican Republic, setting off damaging mudslides and is expected to grow to a Category 3 hurricane with Bermuda in its path later this week.