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Parts of Puerto Rico could be without power for 6 months after Irma

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Puerto Rico residents could be left without power for four to six months after Hurricane Irma grazes the island, according to The Miami Herald. 

“There are going to be blackouts. Areas that will spend three, four months without electricity,” Ricardo Ramos, executive director of Puerto Rico’s energy agency, said, according to the Spanish-language news agency EFE.

The Category 5 hurricane, complete with 185 mph winds, is wreaking havoc in the Caribbean as it barrels toward the mainland U.S. 

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While the storm is not expected to directly hit Puerto Rico, Irma is predicted to bring heavy rains and winds when it passes the north of the island, according to CNN.

The government said it had set up hundreds of temporary shelters capable of housing more than 60,000 people, The Miami Herald reported.  

The U.S. territory, which has a population of more than 3 million, is in the midst of a major economic crisis, with more than $70 billion in debt. 

The Caribbean island in May filed for the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. 

Storm damage is likely to complicate Puerto Rico’s financial situation, although the Federal Emergency Management Agency has workers on the island ready to help with disaster preparation. 

The commonwealth also has a $15 million emergency fund, according to the island’s government. 

–This report was updated at 1:30 p.m.

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