The Aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico


Electricity poles and lines lay toppled on the road after Hurricane Maria hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. The strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years destroyed hundreds of homes, knocked out power across the entire island and turned some streets into raging rivers in an onslaught that could plunge the U.S. territory deeper into financial crisis. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

Katie Soto, Contributing Editor

Puerto Rico has been left devastated from the effects of Hurricane Maria, along with the previous aftermath from Irma and Harvey. People across the island have lost access to food and power, and many of the crops have been destroyed. Many are left with no where to flee, and panic is sweeping across the island.

Those who lived there previously are eager to go back to find their loved ones. A former resident from the island, Javier Nieves, flew in to search for his in-laws and a nephew in Vega Baja, he spoke to the Guardian, “Even if I park the car in the street and walk in – I’m gonna get there,” Nieves said. “I’ve lived there all my life. Puerto Ricans know how to make it work.” 

The relief effort hit a bump when the shipment for aid was halted because of the Jones Act for Puerto Rico. The Jones Act is a law that states goods shipped from one American port to another must be transported on a ship that is American-built, American-owned, and crewed by US citizens or permanent residents. That makes everything Puerto Ricans buy unnecessarily expensive relative to goods purchased on the US mainland, and drives up the overall cost of living on the island. Thankfully, this act has been temporarily waived by President Trump to lift the act for at least ten days. 

Hopefully, the island will strive and stay strong for the many months to come and will get the proper aid it deserves.