Puerto Rico Is Completely In The Dark After Hurricane Maria, According To Emergency Officials

credit: Hector Retamal / Getty

The Caribbean islands are reeling after being battered by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and now Maria. The destruction in St. Martin, Dominica and Barbuda among many, has been catastrophic. Hurricane Maria, the most recent hurricane to hit the Caribbean, grew stronger as it prepared to collide with Puerto Rico and did some of the worst damage in the U.S. commonwealth’s history. According to the BBC, all of Puerto Rico’s inhabitants, some 3.5 million people, will be sitting in the dark for the foreseeable future after Maria ripped through the island, wreaking havoc along its path.

The storm reached Category 5 status just before making landfall on the eastern side of the island in Yabucoa, where it descended to a Category 4 and pummeled the island with 155mph winds. Maria reverted back down to a Category 3 as it pulled across land, with winds of up to 115mph leaving behind downed power lines and a power grid that is in severe need of repair.

“We have not experienced an event of this magnitude in our modern history,” said Governor Ricardo Rosselló in an address to the people of Puerto Rico.

Here’s the eye of Hurricane Maria (around noon EST today) as it departed the island between the coasts of Barceloneta and Arecibo. The island isn’t out of the clear yet, however.

Credit: NOAA / El Nuevo Día

According to El Nuevo Día, while the worst may be over, the tail of the hurricane is still very dangerous and people should take heed.

This video shows the path the hurricane took as it went up to a Category 5 and back down to a Category 4 as it struck the island’s Eastern coast.

Maria brought 155 mph winds and 25 inches of rain.

Several people took to social media to show the damage Hurricane Maria has wrought on Puerto Rico.

The flooding was extremely powerful.

 

The whole island is currently without power.

Previous reports stated that hurricane-related power outages could last up to six months.

The Red Cross has set up dozens of shelters across the island.

Some seeking refuge had never done so in their lives, even though Hurricane Irma had passed through several days before.

Once Maria landed, the hurricane was relentless.

Even with calls coming in for rescue, it was too dangerous for the police to go out and brave the storm.

Barricades weren’t enough to keep doors and windows from being blown away.

Governor Rossello is asking for the island to be declared a disaster zone for immediate relief and support.

San Juan Mayor, Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, fought back tears as she discussed the destruction she witnessed.

As of now, there is a curfew in place to keep non-essential responders off the streets and roads to make rescue operations more effective.

The non-profit group Center for Popular Democracy has set up the #MariaFund to help raise funds to support low-income communities impacted most by the hurricane.

Our thoughts are with the people of Puerto Rico and all those affected by this devastating hurricane season.


[H/T] BBC

READ: Puerto Rico Is On The Brink Of Financial Ruin, So It’s Shutting Down A Record Number Of Public Schools


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