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Puerto Rico declaring state of emergency over moderate drought, will seek US financial help

Puerto Rico's acting governor says he plans to declare a state of emergency to allow the U.S. territory to apply for federal aid to deal with abnormally dry conditions in the island's southern and central regions.

David Bernier made the announcement Thursday and he urged people to conserve water. Bernier is Puerto Rico's secretary of state and filling in for Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla, who is on an official visit to the U.S.

Puerto Rico's water and sewer company says it may impose rationing in upcoming weeks if the moderate drought continues.

National Weather Service meteorologist David Sanchez says it rained less than one inch in June, when the average rainfall is more than four inches. He says dry conditions are expected through early August.