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First Irma, Now Maria: Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Devastation

This year’s hurricane season is proving to be a truly devastating one. After seeing Harvey wreak havoc in Texas and watching Irma cause destruction in Florida, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and the US Virgin Islands, now yet another hurricane has swept through.

Outer band of Hurricane Irma approaches San Juan, Puerto Rico

Photo: Douglas Ellis / U.S. Air Force 

According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Maria was at its worst a Category 4 hurricane with winds up to 155 mph. As of Friday, Maria had already hit Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and was heading towards Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas.

 

For Puerto Rico, this storm has been particularly damaging. According to NBC News, Maria is the most powerful hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in almost a century. The timing of Maria couldn’t be worse, as just weeks ago the island was damaged by Hurricane Irma. The National Hurricane Center reported that Maria has already brought “catastrophic flooding” and killed at least two Puerto Ricans, but the most widespread and worrisome effect so far is the territory’s power situation.

 

The New York Times said Friday that an estimated 3.4 million people have lost power and that Puerto Rico’s energy grid is “all but destroyed.” Puerto Rico could be without power for months, even up to half a year.

Sign reminding residents to be safe on Coast Guard military base in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Photo: Jonathan Lally / U.S. Coast Guard

 

“The San Juan that we knew yesterday is no longer there,” said the mayor of Puerto Rico’s capital city.

 

The devastation brought by hurricane Maria has left Puerto Ricans wondering when and how their island will recover. The world now waits to see just how much more destruction Maria can cause, and if these areas will see the devastation from even more hurricanes this season.

 

If you’d like to help Puerto Rico, you can donate to any of these 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5, or share to spread the word.

Thumbnail Image: Karl-Ludwig Poggemann

Melody Simmons

Agnes Scott '21

Melody Simmons is a sophomore at Agnes Scott College. She's majoring in English with a double minor in History and Music. She hopes to someday have a career in editing or publishing. Along with writing for Her Campus, Melody is a tutor at the Center for Writing and Speaking and serves at Editor for Sigma Alpha Iota, Gamma Eta. Her favorite things in the world are her friends, travel, and music. She's a singer, a cellist, and is working on becoming a guitarist as well. She's originally from east Tennessee, but she's loving Decatur and Atlanta already.
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