The National Guard / Flickr puerto rico hurricane...
The National Guard / Flickr
DOTUS has informed the world that Puerto Rico is “totally obliterated” because to his comic book perceptions and level of compassion and empathy that strikes him as an appropriate thing to say. For the rest of the world, the assessment is that the death toll stands at 16 but that number is likely to rise if generators cannot be obtained and kept running to help people on life support and to power ERs generally speaking.
Over fifteen thousand people are in shelters, food and drinking water supplies are depleted but you can do something about it.  Here’s what’s going on. Rolling Stone:

Hurricane Maria destroyed power across Puerto Rico President Trump said that the hurricane had “totally obliterated” Puerto Rico and destroyed its electrical grid. When Hurricane Irma hit the island it shut down 70 percent of the power – then Maria hit to completely put the territory in the dark.  Rossello and local officials predicted that it could take up to six months to resume electrical service, according to The New York Times. New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo visited the island to meet island officials and discuss possibilities to restore electricity. “We expect three to four months at most for the whole island,” said Cuomo, who arrived with 10 generators, 34,000 bottles of water, 500 flashlights, and 1,400 cots and blankets.

Puerto Rico struggles to maintain medical, food, and water The Canovanas Medical Center in northeastern Puerto Rico is among medical hospitals that are 2-3 days out of losing medical supplies and medicine, according to CNN. Hospitals are treating patients but are limited on water and without water-powering air-conditioners.

Nearly everyone on the island remains without power and half the people don’t have water. On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that power is still out at most food stores and restaurants across the commonwealth. SuperMax, Walgreens and Walmart reopened some stories across the island in the San Juan area and towns such as Caguas and Dorado. People are limited to using cash, since credit card transactions aren’t being processed at many stores and restaurants.

Potential dam failure in northwest Puerto RicoThe Guajataca Dam is in “imminent” danger of failing, according to the National Weather Service. Last week, the NWS San Juan posted a tweet: “Flash Flood Emergency for imminent dam break #LagoGuajataca continues. If you live along #RioGuajataca? evacuate.” Rossello said there was “significant damage” to the dam which developed a crack during the storm, according to The Associated Press. Rossello said that 70,000 people from the towns of Isabela, San Sebastian and Quebradilla were being evacuated from that area. Local officials said only 300 families were under threat. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has conducted a “preliminary inspection” of the dam and continues to work alongside Puerto Rico emergency managers in monitoring it.

Here is what you can do to help.

For readers interested in helping Puerto Ricans affected by Maria, philanthropic experts recommend donating to established charities. There are numerous organizations, including the local Unidos, by the Hispanic Federation, a relief fund going to community and civic organizations, and Unidos por Puerto Rico, an initiative from the first lady of Puerto Rico Beatriz Rossello; and the national All Hands Volunteers, which works with volunteers, and Direct Relief, which is working with local authorities to deliver medicine and medical supplies. Check out Charity Navigator and GuideStar to learn about individual charities and groups and learn how they will spend your donations.

Donate to the American Red Cross via text by sending a text message saying “REDCROSS” to the number 90999. Also, GoFundMe has a page for Maria. And on Google, search “Hurricane Maria,” scroll down, and donate to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.  

It goes without saying, KEEP CALLING CONGRESS. Massive military support is required in this disaster area and we need to keep on top of this.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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