Five years after Hurricane Maria landed in Puerto Rico, Hurricane Fiona has devastated the island nation, leaving it in the dark.
More than 1.3 million people were left without electricity on Monday as LUMA Energy, Puerto Rico’s major energy company, warns of a slow recovery process that has started with hospitals and airports. Only about 30% of the island has running water.
“We are going through a difficult moment, but our people are strong,” Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi said during Monday’s press conference. “The rain continues.”
Fiona, which landed a Category 1 storm on Sunday, has already dumped more than 30 inches of rain on parts of the region, Pierluisi said, including areas that were most devastated by Maria in 2017.
The temporary bridge in Utuado, installed to replace the bridge destroyed by Maria, was damaged on Sunday by heavy floods on the Guaonica River.
More than 2,100 residents have taken refuge in state shelters since Monday morning, Pierluisi said, and more than 1,000 have been rescued by the National Guard.
Your Network Caring Community Advocate, a New York-based non-profit organization dedicated to “guiding and stabilizing displaced people as a result of natural disasters,” already has volunteers in Puerto Rico to help with reconstruction efforts.
“It was very emotional for us volunteers as we relive Hurricane Maria,” said Sonia Velázquez, program director on Monday for the Daily News. “We are ready and activated, and the efforts are underway!”
The group also collects donations for displaced residents, including water filters, batteries, flashlights, hygiene items, solar panels, first aid kits and other medical supplies, baby diapers, garbage bags and ponchos. More information on how to donate will follow delivered online.
Governor Hochul announced on Monday that he would send 100 rescuers to Puerto Rico to help, and President Biden declared a state of emergency for Puerto Rico on Sunday morning, opening up federal resources for emergency response and disaster relief.
“We have contacted our corporate and social partners to coordinate donations of water and other supplies – and several companies have already pledged their support,” Hochul wrote on Twitter on Monday.
“Most importantly, though, New York will be there for a long-term recovery, as we followed Maria. We are ready to help them not only recover but also rebuild. New York is well aware of the devastating impact that Mother Nature can cause. However, in these dark times, we often see people coming out of the best – and we will always be there to support others in the way they have supported us. “
At Monday’s press conference, Hochul also said it is working with companies to secure resources, and several of them, including Delta, JetBlue and Coca-Cola, have pledged support.
The Spanish Federation raises money to finance emergency services and necessary supplies for the communities most hit by the storm.
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“As Puerto Rico continues to recover from Maria’s devastation, the floods and power cuts caused by Fiona are already much more serious and life-threatening than they should be,” the group said. “The next few days are needed to provide emergency services and provide supplies to those most in need.
GlobalGiving’s Hurricane Fiona Fund has set a $ 1 million target to meet urgent needs such as food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products and shelter before switching to supporting long-term regeneration efforts by vetted local organizations.
Fiona struck two days before Maria’s fifth anniversary and hit the 33rd anniversary of Hurricane Hugo, which hit Puerto Rico as a Category 3 storm.
Maria went ashore on September 20, 2017 as a Category 4 storm, destroying the power grid and killing nearly 3,000 people. The federal reaction to the hurricane was catastrophic, leaving millions without electricity even a month later.
Several government officials said then-President Trump had loudly considered selling or divesting Puerto Rico in the aftermath.
“I think all Puerto Ricans who have survived Maria experience post-traumatic stress:” What will happen, how long will it take, and with what needs can we face? ” Danny Hernández who works in San. Juan, but had planned to travel the storm with his family in Mayaguez, the Associated Press said.
With News Wire services
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