Puerto Rico is in the midst of a storm that is threatening to knock out the resorts and hotels that have hosted tens of thousands of tourists since the island was battered by Superstorm Irene in 2012.
The state’s tourism industry is also reeling from the loss of $1.5 billion in business after the storm hit the island in October, according to a state tourism agency.
More than 10,000 Puerto Ricans have been hospitalized since then, many of them in critical condition.
The island has not been able to recover, with some areas still without power and water, the tourism agency said.
A new storm is expected to hit the mainland on Friday, according the agency.
A spokesman for the tourism bureau told the Associated Press that the resort chain El Rey had closed four resorts in the western part of the island after receiving a request from the state’s Department of Tourism and Tourism Management.
“The requests were made to the resorts, but we can’t confirm any specific dates,” Miguel Diaz-Orozco said.
El Rey is owned by the state, but it has struggled to survive the storm and has cut staff to about half its peak levels.
The company has been working to reopen some of the resorts that have been shuttered.
The New York Times reported that El Rey has begun a process of “reopening” all of the hotels and resorts that are currently closed due to the storm.
The agency is urging travelers to take advantage of the holiday season’s rush to get home.
“Our priority is to ensure that you are able to visit all of our resorts and to minimize your impact on the economy,” Diaz-Ortiz said in a statement.
The hurricane is expected at least as far west as the capital of San Juan, the Times reported.
But some tourists in Puerto Rico are being forced to return to their homes after the hurricane caused widespread flooding.
Many of the affected areas were already under water when the storm struck, and the island is still recovering from the devastating effects of Irene, which caused record-breaking damage to the island and killed more than 6,300 people.