USGS moves to fortify civil defense against hurricane in Puerto Rico

October 20, 1999

Due to an unprecedented decision by the U.S.Geological Survey (USGS) representative in Puerto Rico, two USGS employees in Guaynabo have actually moved to the city's civil defense facility and will remain there until the latest in a series of hurricanes (Jose) no longer appears to threaten the lives and property of the residents of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Working side by side with local civil defense authorities, the USGS employees, with extensive hydrologic knowledge of Puerto Rico, are now immediately available to assist the local authorities in interpreting "real time" USGS data coming in from a network of more than 100 stream gaging stations in Puerto Rico. The information transmitted by satellite from USGS stations includes river stage and discharge. The amount of precipitation and water levels in lakes are also closely monitored. All of this information is analyzed by the USGS and used by local emergency management officials to make decisions when hazardous situations, such as flooding or landslides, occur. Information from real time gaging stations in Puerto Rico can be found on the Internet at: http://dprsj1.er.usgs.gov

Rafael Rodriguez, the USGS representative in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, is concerned about the approaching hurricane, but indicates that "everything is in place". With a new, more robust antenna to receive storm data; backup generators for power failures; and a highly trained staff on alert; the USGS in Puerto Rico stands ready to assist the local authorities with information needs.

In addition to flooding and landslides, the USGS is also concerned about coastal erosion and damage to coral reefs around Culebra. According to Rodriguez, the reefs were "severely impacted" by Hurricane Hugo in l989 and their growth is now being monitored closely. Although the reefs were observed to recover after Hugo, their recovery rate has declined since 1995. It is now thought that regional environmental effects might be contributing to the slower growth rate observed in the last five years.
-end-
As the nation's largest water, earth and biological science, and civilian mapping agency, the USGS works in cooperation with more than 2,000 organizations across the country to provide reliable, impartial scientific information to resource managers, planners, and other customers. This information is gathered in every state by USGS scientists to minimize the loss of life and property from natural disasters, contribute to the sound conservation and the economic and physical development of the nation's natural resources, and enhance the quality of life by monitoring water, biological, energy, and mineral resources.

In-depth information about USGS programs may be found on the USGS home page at http://www.usgs.gov. To receive the latest USGS news releases automatically by e-mail, send a request to listproc@listserver.usgs.gov. Specify the listserver(s) of interest from the following names: water-pr; geologic-hazards-pr; geologic-pr; biological-pr; mapping-pr; products-pr; lecture-pr. In the body of the message write: subscribe (name of listserver) (your name). Example: water-pr joe smith.

US Geological Survey

Related Flooding Articles from Brightsurf:

Coastal flooding will disproportionately impact 31 million people globally
Indiana University researchers analyzed these geographic regions, which include cities like New Orleans, Bangkok, and Shanghai, using a new global dataset to determine how many people live on river deltas, how many are vulnerable to a 100-year storm surge event, and the ability of the deltas to naturally mitigate impacts of climate change.

New woodlands can help reduce flooding risk within 15 years
New research by the University of Plymouth suggests the planting of more trees could have a significant and positive effect in preventing flash flooding.

Land use change leads to increased flooding in Indonesia
While high greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss are often associated with rapid land-use change in Indonesia, impacts on local water cycles have been largely overlooked.

Climate change: Coastal flooding could threaten up to 20% of global GDP
Coastal flooding events could threaten assets worth up to 20% of the global GDP by 2100, a study in Scientific Reports suggests.

River plants counter both flooding and drought to protect biodiversity
'Water plants are a nuisance in streams, blocking the flow.

Scientists predict dramatic increase in flooding, drought in California
California may see a 54 percent increase in rainfall variability by the end of this century, according to research from a UC Davis atmospheric scientist.

Multiple flooding sources threaten Honolulu's infrastructure
In a study published in Scientific Reports, researchers at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, found in the next few decades, sea level rise will likely cause large and increasing percentages of land area to be impacted simultaneously by the three flood mechanisms.

Climate change: Extreme coastal flooding events in the US expected to rise
Extreme flooding events in some US coastal areas could double every five years if sea levels continue to rise as expected, a study published in Scientific Reports suggests.

Study find delta helps to decrease the impact of river flooding
Most coastal cities and ports face a double threat from storm surge and river flooding.

Texas A&M researchers develop flooding prediction tool
By incorporating the architecture of city drainage systems and readings from flood gauges into a comprehensive statistical framework, researchers at Texas A&M University can now accurately predict the evolution of floods in extreme situations like hurricanes.

Read More: Flooding News and Flooding Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.