(NEWSnet/AP) — Meteorologists on Tuesday issued a heat advisory for the entire island of Puerto Rico.

The nation is battling power outages as it broils under unrelenting sun.

All 78 of the U.S. territory's municipalities were placed under a heat advisory or warning, as well as U.S. Virgin Islands. This is the first time forecasters have extended a heat advisory beyond Puerto Rico’s coastal areas since the alert system was established six years ago.

Heat indexes were expected to reach up to 114 degrees Fahrenheit along most of Puerto Rico's coastal areas on Tuesday and through Wednesday morning, as a dense cloud of Sahara dust from Africa blankets the island.

Ernesto Morales, warning coordination meteorologist with San Juan National Weather Service, told The Associated Press that while the entire island has met heat advisory criteria previously, this is the first time it has been issued island-wide.

“Just like hurricane or flood warnings, we want the public to make decisions taking these advisories into account,” Morales said. 

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