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Puerto Rico dam failure prompts mass evacuation

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Damaged dam prompts mass evacuation in PR

Puerto Rican officials rushed to evacuate some 70,000 people downstream of a failing dam in the wake of Hurricane Maria, while at least six people were confirmed dead on the US Caribbean territory following the storm.

The US National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flash flood emergency at the Guajataca Dam in Isabela Municipality, saying on Twitter that it was "an extremely dangerous situation" and that buses were evacuating residents from their homes "as quickly as they can".

Dam operators had reported that the dam was "failing causing flash flooding downstream", the service said.

"All Areas surrounding the Guajataca River should evacuate NOW. Their lives are in DANGER!," the service said later.

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