Apocalyptic Puerto Rico
by: Jennifer Garcia
Suffering from the disastrous effects of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico has encountered what many see as an early apocalyptic effect. With no power and communication, an estimated amount of 3 million people in the island, along with leaders and first responders, have been cut off from the rest of the world. Unable to establish contact with six municipalities (cities and towns), government authorities are struggling to find security for the people of Puerto Rico. The disaster left the region without power, cellphones, or water and roads have been completely washed away. The hurricane has easily set the entire island back 20 to 30 years, according to Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner.
Residents have been warned that the recovery will be long, difficult and expensive given the fact that Puerto Rico’s government doesn’t have the estimated $7 to 8 billion for reconstruction. This discouraging goal has only led to the loss of hope among Puerto Rico’s residents, not only does this amount appear to be unreachable for recovery but Puerto Rico is found to be on the brink of bankruptcy, currently exceeding an amount of $70 billion due to its failing economy and government who has often borrowed money to pay debt, digging their financial grave even deeper.
Over the years, due to its economic crisis, Puerto Rico has dealt with residents fleeing the island, but now it is facing a prominent exodus. As habitants of the island face lack of water, food, shelter and communication (more than 88% of wireless cell sites found out of service) a growing amount of 500,000 people have chosen to take their families and search refuge in the rest of the United States. Despite the disaster, many older Puerto Rican’s have found it harder to leave their homes behind or faced financial difficulty in leaving and continue to face the aftermath of hurricane Maria.