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Have you ever been present in a category 5 hurricane? If the answer is no let me tell you that I just wish you never had to go through an experience like that. In September 20 Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico. All the residents in Puerto Rico were part of a desperate humanitarian crisis. It crosses the whole island with sustained winds of 155mph living Puerto Rico with no electricity, no source of clean water or food and no communication at all.
Hurricane Maria left 60% of people without water and 100% of the island in the dark. It caused 2,975 deaths and ended with telecommunication. The island went back 40 years in time. The hurricane brings torrential rains, all the rivers overflow causing anguish devastation and terror. The Brutal winds that were up to 200 miles per hour broke light towers, remove roofs, bend traffic lights, swallow trees, whatever it finds. María was like a glass crushing machine. Living a furious sea with waves up to 25 feet high. Eats the beach and most of sand went on the most tourist streets of the island.
In the morning it sweeps San Juan, the capital, living them desolate. The catastrophe accelerates more and more. It has been the worst atmospheric event over 100 years. On the Mountain, which was where I was born and lived for 15 years of life was one of the regions most affected by the hurricane, landslides swallow entire neighborhoods. The chaos is total. In less than 8 hours, María has caused damage never seen before in a long time. Despair in people is absolute. At 2 p.m. Maria leaves Puerto Rico, but the tail continues to feel for hours like a whip over the island.
Being without communication with my relatives was one of the worst things that could have happened to us. Making several calls a day and not receiving any answer was the worst. We had no communication with the island after 3 and a half weeks we finally received the most awaited call. Every day my family members walked up to the peak of a mountain to be able to communicate and keep us on track of what was happening and their needs.
“The helicopters began to fly over the neighborhoods. Puerto Rico has changed forever. It has another geography” Luis said. The vegetation is not the same anymore, loses his majestic leafiness its lush green. It seems burned by fire. According to the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, 98% of adult trees are broken, crushed, obstructed roads and paths. The sea lost its unique color. It looks like a river. Muddy and Dark. Only seven hospitals can be kept running thanks to generators. The water reaches almost to the second floor of the houses. People literally have water around their neck. The authorities arrive in boats to save them, just like a movie.
The airport of San Juan suffer a lot of damages. Nobody can go in or out of the island. Even the aid couldn’t land or disembark. Flights were restricted for more than 2 weeks. Every single person was desperate. Puerto Rico was in a emergency situation.The authorities were focus on saving lives.
On the other hand, 48 hours after the hurricane, The National Meteorological Service transmit an emergency alert for more that 20 cities. The Guajataca dam threatens to break and spill its more than 34,000 acre-feet of water. The nightmare does not end. The governor orders to evacuate the zone immediately. The residents says ‘It is a situation of extreme danger.’ Maria has been the biggest the island has known since 1932.” What they were seeing in Puerto Rico was a catastrophe. Officially, a year after the impact of the hurricane the government reveled that 2,975 people died.
Moreover, Maria caused more damage than expected. Maria left our island split into chunks, pain and chaos. Maria is a name that Puerto Rico will never forget.
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