Hurricane Maria

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On September 20, 2017, the category five Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico. The US territory in the Caribbean Sea was in the direct path of the storm and was hit for more than 30 hours of strong winds up to 155 miles an hour and heavy rains of up to 30 inches from a hurricane 50 to 60 miles in diameter.  

A state of emergency was issued in Puerto Rico on Thursday, September 21, just one day after the hurricane made landfall. In an interview with The Atlantic, Tricia Wachtendorf described the hurricane as not just a disaster, but a catastrophic event. She said, “Most if not all of the environment is destroyed in a catastrophe.”

This all occurred over a month ago and the disaster relief is still going on. Puerto Rican officials estimated that it would take six to eight months to completely restore power to the island. 1.87 million people were left without drinking water as of September 30th, 2017, and 85% of cell towers on the island were destroyed.

Puerto Rico has already been in recession for 11 years and has file for the largest municipal bankruptcy in the history of the United States. The extra 45 to 95 billion dollars that Hurricane Maria could cost them only makes the economic situation on the island that much worse.