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Puerto Rico Needs a Major Relief Effort

Puerto Rico has been devastated [1] by Hurricane Maria and its aftermath:

Hurricane Maria pounded the entire island of Puerto Rico on Wednesday, but the scope of the damage had been speculative and unclear since, in large part because towns across the U.S. territory have been completely off the grid. Though images from the air showed incredible destruction, mayors were unable to reach central government for leadership and help because communication was impossible. No telephones, cellphones, or Internet. No power. No passage through roads that had been washed away or blocked with trees and power lines.

There are over three million people living on the island, and the entire territory is without electricity or running water. There are reportedly no communications [2] with half of the towns in the territory. Conditions in Puerto Rico are being described as “apocalyptic” [3] in some accounts, and even allowing for some hyperbole it is clear that the population is in urgent need of a massive relief effort. By most accounts, it is the largest natural disaster [4] in Puerto Rico’s history. The extent of the damage from the hurricane and subsequent flooding is just starting to be understood:

Authorities flew over the island Saturday, and were stunned by what they saw. No cellphones, water or power. Roads completely washed away and others blocked by debris, isolating residents.


“It was devastating to see all that kind of debris in all areas, in all towns of the island,” Jenniffer Gonz├ílez, the island’s non-voting representative in Congress told CNN.

“We never expected to have a lot of debris in so many areas. A lot of roads are closed, older ones are just gone,” she added.

Federal aid is starting to arrive [2], but the people there are going to need at minimum a sustained relief effort for many months to come. Additional emergency relief funding for Puerto Rico along with funding for east Texas and Florida recovery efforts should take precedence in Congress over any other legislative business. Millions of Americans are in urgent need of assistance, and the government and people across the country should do whatever we can to help them.

P.S. Here are some [5] lists [6] of organizations that are raising money for Puerto Rico relief efforts.

5 Comments (Open | Close)

5 Comments To "Puerto Rico Needs a Major Relief Effort"

#1 Comment By priorities On September 25, 2017 @ 1:50 am

Yes. Take care of our own, and do it properly, instead of wasting energy, money, and blood on doing favors for foreigners.

#2 Comment By Christian Chuba On September 25, 2017 @ 7:44 am

Nah … let’s accuse African American football players of disrespecting the flag and the military for taking a knee (a traditional sign of respect) during the national anthem instead, that’s a much better use of energy. Or let’s gloat over the damage that Cuba took during Irma.

Making sure our own house is clean is a pretty good idea.

#3 Comment By AtomicZeppelinMan On September 25, 2017 @ 11:31 am

Ask anyone who has served in the US Armed Forces and they will confirm that Puerto Ricans are some of the most patriotic mofos around. They love their island and they love America. Time for statehood for PR. No need for an extra star on the flag either as we have twice as many Dakotas as we need. #PRStatehood #DakotaReunification

#4 Comment By rayray On September 25, 2017 @ 1:57 pm

Hear, hear. Agreed. Have spent a great deal of time on the island in production…amazing people, amazing place, we should be proud and supportive of Puerto Rico!

#5 Comment By Don On September 27, 2017 @ 5:36 pm

Help P.R. there are airdrops going on, look on the internet, contribute if you can. Sanitary things, bug repellant, batteries, flashlights, canned food, poptops if possible, manual can openers. Hit the dollar stores for things and please do it quickly. These people are very very desperate.