Hurricane Maria wreaks havoc

Brittany Van Pelt

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

It’s been a week since Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.

With 16 confirmed dead in Puerto Rico and 49 overall in the Caribbean, the past few weeks have been detrimental to the survival of those who live in the Caribbean basin.

Hurricane Maria is the second storm to hit the Caribbean basin within the past month. Irma, which struck Cuba, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and most of the gulf states just last week.

As the death toll continues to rise in the Atlantic, various territorial governments look towards the United States for answers and relief efforts.

The category-five-storm ripped through the island, with a population of over 3 million, in a matter of a few days.

Hurricane Maria is being regarded as the worst storm in 85 years for the island and is now being listed as the fifth worst hurricane in U.S. history.

Before Maria made landfall, it held winds of up to 175 mph.

By Tuesday night, the hurricane’s eye was over the U.S. Virgin Islands with Puerto Rico bracing for the inevitable attack the next day.

Currently there are over 11,000 people in the 174 shelters across the country according to Puerto Rico’s Secretary of Public Affairs.

Getting communications inside and out of Puerto Rico has been difficult with cellular service and electricity being completely obliterated by the storm.

Eighty percent of the island is without transmissions lines are down and it is unknown when power will be restored.

Residents are still left without the basic necessities to function on a daily basis and many wondering what the next few months will be like as the country begins to rebuild.

“In some small towns like Ponce, which is a big city on the south, the demand for fuel is pretty big. People have waited around 12 hours and still live with no gasoline,” said Natalia Eliris Vélez Padua, Biological Engineering sophomore student.

Since the first reference of the storm earlier last week, President Trump has lended very few physical efforts to help those who have been affected by Hurricane Maria.

The president took a break from his current NFL controversy to speak on the Puerto Rico’s current financial distress.

“Texas and Florida are doing great  but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure and massive debt, is in deep trouble…,” said President Trump, while speaking about Puerto Rico on Sept. 25, 2017.

San Juan mayor, Carmen Yulin Cruz, praised the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for its rapid response after the storm hit.

When Yulin made an apperance on CNN earlier this week, she made sure to emphasis that Puerto Rico was in a “humanitarian crisis.

Many celebrities such as Ricky Martin, Daddy Yankee, and Lin Manuel-Miranda have began to donate money towards Puerto Rico’s rebuilding effort.

Entertainer Jennifer Lopez, who is of Puerto Rican descent, committed one million dollars in a recent Instagram post, saying she has yet to hear from members of her own family.

Lopez urged her followers to “donate and support” the first lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Areizaga, and that “together we can help re-build our island and the Caribbean.” Lopez ended the video with the “Unidos Por Puerto Rico” which translates to “United for Puerto Rico.”

As Hurricane Maria makes it way up the Atlantic coast, stateside governors start to prepare for it’s landfall.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper urged eastern North Carolinians to prepare for substantial ocean surf, lethal rip currents, and possible storm surge flooding.

“Visitors to our beaches should stay out of the water during these dangerous conditions and wait until Maria passes,” said Gov. Cooper. Coastal residents should make sure they are ready and their homes are prepared.

Puerto Ricans are prepping themselves for the long road to recovery ahead. It projects that many islands and territories in the Caribbean will be without power for the coming months.

In the meantime, family members out of Puerto Rico are urging for information about loved ones they have yet to get in contact with since the storm hit.

With half the country at or below the poverty-line, it is safe to say that Puerto Ricans will be dealing with repercussions from Hurricane Maria.