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Hurricane Maria destroys Puerto Rico

Juliet Richardson, Staffer

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On Monday Sept. 19, the Caribbean Islands were hit by Hurricane Maria. It has now been determined as the fifth largest hurricane to affect US territory, with at least 10 dead.  Dominica and Puerto Rico received the most damage.

Days before Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, Hurricane Irma wiped out everything on the island. Hitting major urban areas, the hurricane destroyed 80 to 90 percent of all homes and  the record rainfall led to devastating floods. A few days after the hurricane hit, the National Weather Service immediately urged residents to move to higher ground and that the situation could be “dangerous and life-threatening” in fear that the Guajataca Dam would fail and worsen the flooding.

“The devastation in Puerto Rico has set us back nearly 20 to 30 years,” said Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez in a Chicago Tribune article. “I can’t deny that the Puerto Rico of now is different from that of a week ago. The destruction of properties, of flattened structures, of families without homes, of debris everywhere.”

The island’s greenery is gone.”

The demolished infrastructure in Puerto Rico caused major power outages across the entire island. As a result, almost all means of technology have been lost and there is now a water shortage due to the lack of power. People are becoming isolated in areas with no way to contact their families and friends, including relatives in the U.S. Other countries are having trouble communicating with Puerto Rico for donations and help as well. The whole island has been described as having ‘apocalyptic’ conditions because they have been cut off from the rest of the world without any source of technology to call for help.

“This is total devastation,” said spokesman for Puerto Rico’s governor Carlos Mercader  in a CNN article. “Puerto Rico, in terms of the infrastructure, will not be the same. … This is something of historic proportions.”

President Donald Trump has called for federal aid in Puerto Rico as well as deploying 4,000 U.S. Army Reserve members to help. As of Sunday Sept. 24, the storm had dropped  to a Category two, but is now moving north toward the coast of North Carolina. Hopefully Hurricane Maria won’t continue to cause more damage than it already has, but there is definitely a chance of the storm hitting North Carolina sometime this week.

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Hurricane Maria destroys Puerto Rico