Ongoing Catastrophe in Puerto Rico
Days after Hurricane Maria pounded the island of Puerto Rico, killing at least 10 people, authorities are starting to see firsthand the scope of devastation that left the US territory off the grid. Without power and communications in much of the island, millions of people, including city leaders and first responders, have been cut off from the world since Maria hit last Wednesday Sept. 20.
On September 24, Jenniffer Gonzalez, Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner who is a nonvoting member of the U.S. House, said that billions of dollars would be needed to repair the damage to Puerto Rico from the recent storms. Hurricane Maria caused an estimated $40 billion to $85 billion in insured losses in the Caribbean, with Puerto Rico alone accounting for more than 85% of the loss, according to catastrophe modeler AIR Worldwide.
Much to our relief, PIA National Director Ariel Rivera finally contacted everyone through the PIA Facebook page to let all know that he is OK. “Hurricane Maria has been completely catastrophic for all Puerto Rico,” Rivera wrote. “Our beautiful island will recover and we will rise stronger than ever. Many blessings and hugs to all.” He also sent the message to his Spanish-speaking clients:
“El huracán Maria ha sido completamente catastrófico para todo Puerto Rico. Nuestra hermosa isla se recuperará y nos levantaremos más fuertes que nunca. Muchas bendiciones y abrazos a todos.”