Yet another hurricane has caused a major loss of life and resources. This time, in Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria - the strongest to hit the US territory in almost a century - tore across the island, knocking all of the power out and taking the lives of at least seven people.
“We are 100% without power,” a spokesman for the Puerto Rican governor’s office said Wednesday. Maria’s brute force wiped out electricity to the entire island.
In fact, the hurricane hit so hard, it knocked down and broke two National Weather Service radars that were set up on the island. Maria ripped trees out of the ground and caused immense flooding. The destruction is tremendous and has affected so many people. Families have no shelter, nowhere to eat and are losing hope. The storm continues to cause devastation beyond what residents ever thought to imagine could happen.
“This is total devastation,” said Carlos Mercader, a spokesman for Puerto Rico’s governor, Garcia Padilla.
“Puerto Rico, in terms of infrastructure, will never be the same… this is something of historic proportions.”
In addition, Maria’s timing couldn’t have been worse. Puerto Rico has been in a recession for over a decade and owes tens of billions of dollars in bills to investors, which it can't pay. Earlier this year, Puerto Rico filed for bankruptcy.
Hurricane Maria weakened to a Category 3 storm Wednesday afternoon with hurling winds of 115 miles per hour. The center of Maria has left Puerto Rico, but fierce winds remain. It is expected to pour a total of twelve to eighteen inches of rain in the area before barreling toward the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas starting Wednesday night.
It is advised that all citizens take cover and prepare for the enormous storm that is approaching. In addition, you should make a Hurricane Kit; which may consist of a first aid kit, a hand crank or battery powered radio, a flashlight, some batteries and a whistle to signal for help and local maps.