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Biden to Puerto Ricans struck by Hurricane Fiona: 'We are with you'

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President Joe Biden received a briefing on Hurricane Fiona on Thursday afternoon. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/77177639bb0f3eb33aacb4ff22df1424/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
President Joe Biden received a briefing on Hurricane Fiona on Thursday afternoon. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 22 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden expressed support for Puerto Rico after receiving a briefing on Hurricane Fiona after the Category 4 hurricane struck the U.S. territory.

Biden announced that he was authorizing 100% federal funding for power and water restoration, search and rescue as well as water and food for the whole month while promising that "our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico" would get the help they need.

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"To the people of Puerto Rico, who are still hurting from Hurricane Maria, know that we are with you," Biden said. "We are not going to walk away."

The briefing took place shortly after 2:15 p.m. from New York City, where Biden delivered remarks at the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday.

RELATED Biden approves disaster declaration as Puerto Rico assesses hurricane damage

The National Hurricane Center said in its 2 p.m. EDT update that the storm was located 345 miles west-southwest of Bermuda and about 1,745 miles south-southwest of Halifax, Nova Scotia. It had maximum sustained winds of 130 mph and was moving north-northeast at 25 mph.

Fiona is forecasted to deliver punishing weather conditions to Bermuda on Thursday and could affect the U.S.

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"A north-northeastward or northeastward motion with an increase in forward speed expected today through Friday, followed by a somewhat slower northward motion beginning Friday night or Saturday," the NHC said in its update.

RELATED Hurricane Fiona knocks out power in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic

Fiona became a major hurricane on Tuesday and graduated to Category 4 strength on Wednesday. A hurricane is classified in Category 4 when maximum sustained winds reach at least 130 mph.

This week, Fiona has pummeled Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and other areas of the Caribbean. In Puerto Rico, more than 1.3 million residents lost power due to the storm. On Thursday, there were still about a million without electricity, according to PowerOutage.us.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also declared a public health emergency in Puerto Rico on Wednesday.

In response to the storm, HHS deployed 25 people to Puerto Rico to work with FEMA and other emergency officials to aid the response to the Hurricane.

Fiona caused massive damage to the island, as Puerto Rico received more than 2 feet of rain and saw winds in excess of 100 mph.

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