Puerto Rico still feeling the effects of Hurricane Maria days later

By Katherine Koretski and Erin Reilly

 

The people of Puerto Rico remain in danger, after being hit by a category 4 hurricane last week. This storm left the island with nearly a complete power outage. According to U.S. Department of Energy, The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority reports nearly all of customers in Puerto Rico remain without power, not including limited facility generators.  

The residents are being forced to live with limited amounts of food and clean drinking water.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flooding warning on Sept. 23 for the northwestern part of the island where the Guajataca dam is located. NWS sent out a tweet encouraging people to evacuate that area after concluding that the dam was not structurally sound. In a video posted by the NWS on Twitter, Tony Reynes explains that behind the lake where the dam is located, there is an abundance of inflow from the mountains. 

Created by Katherine Koretski.

Rescue crews have already issued forces into the island to assist. According to NBC News, 600 FEMA workers are on currently on the ground. There's a major distribution problem now, and while these things have been provided, they aren't reaching people in need. President Trump is said to take a trip and observe the damage next Tuesday.  

Relief efforts are underway all over the country. The disaster has hit home for one particular student at Quinnipiac University. Kelsey Bombon, a senior, is holding two different fundraisers where she will collect supplies to send to the victims.

“Being half-Puerto Rican, this issue holds a special place in my heart along with the others in the QU community who have loved ones in Puerto Rico and Mexico. Also being the President of Latino Cultural Society, I wanted to make sure every member's Heritage and culture was represented and heard. During our last general board meeting, we took the time to hear how everyone's families have been doing during this time especially with Hurricane Maria. Hearing their stories and connecting it with my own, I knew Latino Cultural Society had to do something.”

The next fundraiser will be held on Oct. 9 through Oct. 12 with other student organizations on campus taking part.

“I think the QU community should come together for this because everyone can connect to these disasters one way or another. Puerto Ricans are Americans at the end of the day and Mexico is one of our neighbors so we should lend a helping hand.”

If anyone is interested in helping with relief efforts on Quinnipiac’s campus, contact Kelsey Bombon or Abbie O’Neill for more details.

Damage can be seen in Vega Alta on the northern coast of Puerto Rico, west of San Juan. 

Michael Brennan