Puerto Rico, a small Caribbean island located just west of Mexico, is known for its beautiful beaches and popular tourist attractions. It is an island where people often go on summer vacations, honeymoons, and other special occasions, and an island where so many happy memories manifest themselves. But now, instead of joyous memories and leisurely vacations, Puerto Rico has been struck by disaster that left the small island quaking. All good memories were washed away with houses, belongings, and even people. One of the worst hurricanes ever reported in history, has violently hit Puerto Rico. It has left a path of destruction right behind it.
On September 20, 2017, the small island of Puerto Rico was hit by hurricane Maria, a category four hurricane with wind speeds up to 150 mph. Nearly one month later, Puerto Rico is still in an active state of emergency. Hundreds of thousands of homes in shambles, families torn apart, the death toll rising, and scarcity among food and water are only some of the day-to-day struggles citizens are facing. The hurricane was so powerful that it knocked out 90 percent of the country’s power lines, and even now, less than 10 percent of the island has power. Loss of power has resulted in hospitals shutting down, and even three weeks later, the 69 hospitals across the island are still not all functional.
Airports have been shut down and left unable to operate, leaving citizens trapped on the island to fend for themselves. With little and very reluctant help from the U.S. government, Puerto Rico continues to suffer great loss everyday. On September 30th, FEMA recorded only 45 percent of the population had access to fresh drinking water, and the remaining 55 percent weren’t able to bathe or shower. It is predicted the post-hurricane death toll will be higher than the actual hurricane’s, a result of improper care taking and disease outbreak. The death toll has just hit 48, according to CNN. The citizens of Puerto Rico have had everything taken from them, and the destruction is only becoming more recognizable. Residents hope that power will soon be restored, at least enough to supply all 69 hospitals. If we are able to achieve this, safety and health concerns will be much less hazardous. Hopefully soon, Puerto Rico can be restored.
By: Arden Grossman’20, Staff Writer