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Hurricane Maria

September 29, 2017

Photo Courtesy of The Guardian

This year’s hurricane season has been devastating more than just Florida and Texas. Puerto Rico has felt the harsh impact of Hurricane Maria, and the effects of the storm have been detrimental to the island.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory that has been largely impacted by the storm over the past week. The territory, already severely in debt prior to the storm, currently has very little resources and is lacking the help necessary to get back on their feet. Hurricane Maria was the most powerful storm to hit the Caribbean in almost a century.

The category 4 hurricane hit Puerto Rico mid-week last week and left evidence of its presence. Certain parts of Puerto Rico felt the impact of both Irma and Maria, which lead to an even greater amount of destruction. The nation had a poor power line system before Maria hit, but after the storm, power was nearly completely out. As of Monday, Sept. 25, the storm had already claimed the lives of 16 Puerto Ricans.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency stated that 10,000 federal staff, including more than 700 FEMA personnel, were helping in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and nine FEMA Urban Search & Rescue task forces have arrived as well.

President Trump’s actions in response to Hurricane Maria have been criticized due to his current focus on the NFL. He tweeted on Monday, Sept. 25, “Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble.” Trump’s focus was mainly on the financial aspect of the disaster. He also tweeted, “much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with. Food, water and medical are top priorities – and doing well.”

Along with the response from Washington, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also stated that there was “unprecedented movement for federal funding to provide to Puerto Rico…they are continuing to do everything they can.” The spokeswoman was also quoted saying that the administration was engaged in a “fact-finding” mission, trying to figure out exactly how much help the people of Puerto Rico need.

Kaelin Sommer
News Editor

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