The devastation in Puerto Rico


Aly Johnston, Writer

Complete loss of power. No access to water. Limited gas and cash availability. Hurricane Maria has devastated the island of Puerto Rico, and at least sixteen people have died as a result, according to the US government.

In need of food, water, and supplies, the people of Puerto Rico are desperate for help. From regular citizens to global superstars, donations have been pouring in from all over the world. Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the musical “Hamilton”, has been donating is money, time, and talent to help those affected by hurricane Maria. He is currently creating music for Puerto Rico with other musicians; profits from the music will go to hurricane relief.

The Royal Caribbean cruise line has recently canceled an upcoming cruise in order to send a ship to PR to help rescue victims. The “Adventure of the Seas”, capable of carrying 3,114 passengers, will forgo its cruise on the 30th and voyage to St. Croix, St. Thomas and San Juan to help citizens of PR instead, CNN reports.

Big name celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, and Jimmy Fallon have used social media to get their message out. Using their large audience to their advantage, the stars have encouraged donations to relief organizations. Lopez joined the with Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, to address the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. “Lives have been lost. Power is down across the entire island,” she said. “More than 15,000 people have been forced into shelters, and the storm has devastated the lives of thousands of others.” She also announced her plans to donate $1 million to help victims, People reports.

As Puerto Rico is a US territory, President Donald Trump has been looked to for support and leadership in this time of crisis. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said in San Juan, “We need to do a lot more in order for us to get out of the emergency,… but the other thing that’s also true is that the administration has answered and has complied with our petitions in an expedited manner.” CNN reports.

The efforts of the White House, however, have been criticized by other Puerto Rican representatives like San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who was met with an angry response from Trump. The President tweeted from his golf club in New Jersey on the 30th, saying “The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump,” , following the tweet up with “… Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”

The people in Puerto Rico are in desperate need of help. If you are interested, you can donate to United for Puerto Rico, UNICEF, or the Hispanic Federation, amongst other organizations. Puerto Ricans need all the help we can give them.