After a catastrophic 7.1 earthquake hit Mexico City and parts of southern Mexico, rescue brigades and volunteers sprang into action to help recover survivors and victims from the rubble. One of those rescuers captured the world’s attention and heart.
Her name is Frida. She’s a Navy rescue dog and a very good pupper.
Piñateria Ramirez in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, is known for making cool, creative piñatas that touch on major pop culture moments.
Their Frida piñata is an “homage to man’s best friend,” as they said in a Facebook post.
They also thank Frida and the rest of Mexico’s “paw patrol,” who have all been working hard in devastated areas since the earthquake hit.
From the goggles and little boots, to the cute little face and golden fur, Piñateria Ramirez totally nailed it.
CREDIT: Photo credit: Piñateria Ramirez/Facebook
We ❤️ Frida too!
While some commenters joked they could never possibly hit the adorable piñata of such a brave pup, other critics have come after Piñateria Ramirez hard. But the folks behind the Frida piñata had a comeback ready.
CREDIT: Piñateria Ramirez/Facebook
A critic private messaged the shop, scolding them for teaching children to beat a hero. The piñata makers responded:
“All children’s figures are their heroes and they want to have their favorite characters at their parties. It’s a matter of approach. Besides we made it as an homage. Not sure if I’ve explained myself.”
When the critic went on, saying they wouldn’t teach their children to “beat a real hero,” Piñateria Ramirez responded in the best way possible — a Robert Downey Jr. eye roll gif.
“[T]he ones that most understand the concept of the Frida piñata are children,” said Piñateria Ramirez in a follow-up post. They brought the receipts, too.
Over three dozen Democratic lawmakers have demanded Housing Secretary Ben Carson explain why the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) department is breaking the law to withhold $8.3 billion in aid from Puerto Rico.
Representative Nydia Valesquez led the charge in writing a letter signed by 41 Democrats to Carson on Monday, suggesting that the Trump administration has no real justification for withholding the hurricane readiness assistance.
HUD was supposed to disburse $9.7 billion to the commonwealth beginning last September but has since only given $1.5 billion of the allocated funds, according to the New York Daily News.
HUD says Puerto Rico won’t be getting their due funds anytime soon.
The nearly ten billion dollars in funds were allocated by congress to improve Puerto Rico’s natural disaster readiness in the aftermath of the 2017 hurricanes that killed roughly 3,000 people. The funds proved to be necessary when multiple earthquakes ranging from 4.1 to 6.4 in magnitude that left thousands without power.
“We have repeatedly implored Secretary Carson to follow the law, do right by Puerto Rico and release the assistance our fellow citizens are legally due,” Velazquez told the Daily News.
HUD claims they are denying release of the funds due to corruption they cited no evidence of and failed to specify. The executive branch cannot legally withhold congressionally approved funds.
“Given the Puerto Rican government’s history of financial mismanagement, corruption and other abuses, we must ensure that any HUD assistance provided helps those on the island who need it the most: the people of Puerto Rico,” the senior agency official told the Daily News. “Puerto Rico already has access to $1.5 billion and has so far only spent $5.8 million — less than 1% of those funds.”
Democrats ban together to demand the release of the remaining funds to Puerto Rico.
“Due to the new emergency at hand and the urgency of the situation, we are officially requesting an in-person meeting,” the Democrats wrote in the letter to Carson. “It is your responsibility as secretary of HUD to provide members of Congress an explanation as to why your department has chosen to violate the law by withholding these critical resources. Puerto Ricans have waited too long.”
Velazquez, who grew up in Puerto Rico, even wrote a separate letter to Carson, who has responded to neither effort. This isn’t the first time Democrats have led a charge against the Trump administration regarding funds to Puerto Rico. Just last week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanded the release of the aid which was approved for housing development, infrastructure needs, and economic revitalization.
“We call upon the White House to stop its unlawful withholding of funds from Puerto Rico,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference last week. “There are needs that need to be met, there has been a disaster designated, but the ongoing withholding of funds appropriated by Congress to Puerto Rico is illegal.”
Velasquez told the Daily News that the Trump administration’s constant withholding of aide has a more sinister motivation.
“The real motivation for withholding these dollars is Donald Trump’s disdain for the people of Puerto Rico and heartless disregard for their suffering,” Velazquez said.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he plans on leading a delegation to Puerto Rico this week to assess whether New York State can send additional disaster recovery.
The Washington Post editorial board releases the op-ed “Puerto Ricans should never forget how Trump treated them.”
“Here’s what Puerto Rico has endured over the past two years: a devastating hurricane that killed and displaced thousands of people and plunged the island into months of darkness; an incompetent and corrupt local government; a bungled and halfhearted emergency response from the federal government,” the editorial board wrote. “Now, even as hurricane recovery remains incomplete, a new natural disaster: a 6.4-magnitude earthquake followed by powerful aftershocks.”
The earthquakes displaced 2,000 people without power, left nearly the entire island without electricity, and roughly 250,000 people without water. Trump approved $5 million in FEMA aid following the declaration of a state of emergency but the number pales in comparison to what Puerto Rico is owed. The Washington Post noted a study that showed the federal government responded more quickly and effectively to hurricanes in Texas and Florida — where Trump has a large deal of support — in comparison to hurricanes in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico is owed an estimate of $18 billion in total congressionally approved recovery aide.
“As opposed to erecting hurdles to recovery, the administration should be clearing a path, righting past wrongs and delivering the support our fellow American citizens so clearly need,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
Among the letter to Carson’s signees were Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Congressman Joaquin Castro, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Bernie Sanders, and other party members.
In Puerto Rico, an island still in recovery mode after the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Maria, people are now worried about damaging earthquakes.
Although seismic activity isn’t rare in the Caribbean – remember the trauma of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake? – the island has been seismically calm for many years. So it’s no surprise that Puerto Ricans are shaken over the recent tremors that have left people homeless as houses collapse.
The quakes have also exposed the vulnerability to infrastructure on the island still struggling to bounce back after Maria.
The major 6.4 earthquake rocked Puerto Rico just a day after two large quakes had residents panicked.
A magnitude 6.4 earthquake shook southwestern Puerto Rico this morning, according to the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS); this is the largest yet in a series of quakes that have hit the region.
At least one person died as walls collapsed around the area, and eight more people were injured, according to NPR. Electricity went out across Puerto Rico as automated systems shut down the island’s power plants, recalling power outages that lasted 11 months after Hurricane Maria, which caused the worst blackout in US history.
The North American and Caribbean tectonic plates meet in this area, but the quake doesn’t appear to be the result of those plates grinding together, according to USGS. Instead, a release of energy and stress inside the Caribbean plate seems to have caused the shaking
This major quake comes after a pair of powerful earthquakes hit the Caribbean Island early on Monday morning.
A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck Puerto Rico on Monday morning, followed by a 4.9 magnitude quake and several smaller ones in the following hours.
The largest quake originated south of the island at 6:32 a.m., cracking some houses’ walls and collapsing at least five homes in the coastal town of Guánica. No casualties have been reported, and there was also no threat of a tsunami even as the residual quakes continued to hit.
Several smaller quakes ranging from 4.7 to 5.1 in magnitude have hit Puerto Rico since Dec. 28, leading Guánica resident Alberto Rodríguez to tell The Associated Press “We haven’t slept … you can’t remain calm here. Guánica is no longer a safe place.” His home collapsed Monday.
Although there aren’t any reports of injuries or casualties, the quakes have caused damage across the island.
The Mayor of Guánica told AP at least 29 other homes were heavily damaged after the latest quake. A rock formation popular among tourists called Playa Ventana also was damaged in the earlier quakes, and completely collapsed Monday.
Helicopters buzzed overhead and terrified residents jumped up from their folding chairs every time the earth shook, yelling at others to stay away from power lines.
Puerto Rico doesn’t have a public earthquake warning system, except for sirens that are supposed to ring in case of a tsunami. Residents in this neighborhood criticized the government for what they believe is a lack of action.
Dr. Sindia Alvarado, who lives in the southern coastal town of Penuelas, said she was petrified.
“My entire family woke up screaming,” she told the Washington Post. “I thought the house was going to crack in half.”
The seismic activity comes as the island, and much of Latin America, celebrates Dia de Reyes Magos.
Most residents have been wary of returning home to celebrate Three Kings Day, and some children ended up opening their gifts on sidewalks outside. Some people had already been prepared since the earlier quakes with clothes, food, and water already packed in their cars.
Geologists warn of more tremors to come.
“More earthquakes than usual (called aftershocks) will continue to occur near the mainshock,” the USGS said.
“When there are more earthquakes, the chance of a large earthquake is greater which means that the chance of damage is greater.”
The agency advised anyone in or near vulnerable structures to be extra cautious and said those caught in potential quakes should drop, cover and hold on.
Puerto Rico has a history of devastating earthquakes dating back thousands of years.
Victor Huerfano, director of Puerto Rico’s Seismic Network, told the AP that shallow quakes were occurring along three faults in Puerto Rico’s southwest region: Lajas Valley, Montalva Point and the Guayanilla Canyon. He said the quakes overall come as the North American plate and the Caribbean plate squeezes Puerto Rico, and that it was unclear when they would stop or if bigger quakes would occur.
One of the largest and most damaging earthquakes to hit Puerto Rico occurred in October 1918, when a 7.3-magnitude quake struck near the island’s northwest coast, unleashing a tsunami and killing 116 people.
Share this story with all of your friends by tapping our little share buttons below!