The Shocking Destruction of Puerto Rico
Just one week ago, Hurricane Maria, a category 4 storm, engulfed Puerto Rico, slamming it with massive winds and torrential rains, and leaving unprecedented damage in its wake.
The U.S. territory was already picking up the pieces left by Hurricane Irma in early September. Maria completely devastated the island. Many say it will take months to fix the damage and give residents access to essentials like electricity and plumbing.
Puerto Rican officials argue the U.S. government isn’t doing enough. On Tuesday San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz tearfully told a local news station, “It’s life or death, every moment we spend planning in a meeting or every moment we spend just not getting the help we’re supposed to get, people are starting to die.”
“The red tape needs to be ripped off as if it were a band aid,” she said. “There are boots on the ground…but those boots need to start walking,” she added.
Most of the island is without power and cellphone service. The death toll has risen to 16. According to the Pentagon, approximately 44 percent of the population is without drinking water and only 11 out of 69 hospitals had fuel or power as of Tuesday.
President Donald Trump announced he will visit Puerto Rico next week.
Here are some photos of the devastation Maria has wrought.