A failing dam has sparked emergency evacuations of two towns in north-west Puerto Rico as the United States territory struggled with flooding, an island-wide blackout and other dangers in Hurricane Maria’s wake. Anthony points out that Puerto Rico became a safe haven for those living on the surrounding islands despite also being affected. To donate, visit their site here.
For Velázquez and Crespo, the crisis has hit especially close to home – like many Puerto Ricans on the US mainland, both have been unable to contact their families since Maria’s lashing winds and flood-inducing rains pummeled the island, leaving its 3.4 million residents in the dark.
An alert on the weather service’s website urged people in the area of Guajataca Dam to “Move to higher ground now”.
In Dominica, 15 people have been confirmed dead so far.
Over the past 100-plus years, Puerto Rico has averaged 10 inches of rain for all of September.
“This storm crushed us from one end of the island to the other”, she said.
The search is on for a boat that went missing off Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria with two adults and two children aboard.
All across the battered island, residents feared power could be out for weeks – or even months – and wondered how they would cope.
Because of the territory’s $73 billion debt crisis, the island’s power company abandoned most basic maintenance in recent years.
The hotel and tourism association of the Dominican Republic, ASONAHORES, said the country’s tourism infrastructure had not suffered “material damages” as a result of Hurricane Maria, which passed on the north and northeastern coast of the country.
“I want every New Yorker to know that anything this state can do for Puerto Rico we will do”, Cuomo said.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it would open an air bridge from the mainland on Friday, with three to four military planes flying to the island every day carrying water, food, generators and temporary shelters.
“In New York we are family with the Puerto Rican community and with family you don’t have to ask for help”, the governor said.