Hurricane Maria, a category 4 hurricane with winds of 145 mph to 155 mph, landed in Puerto Rico Wednesday morning just a few days after Hurricane Irma. It is estimated that “Irma caused as much as $1 billion in damages on the bankrupt island.” The impact of hurricane Maria is expected to be worse, with significantly more fatalities, devastating the island’s infrastructure, producing prolonged electrical outages and stalling any potential for economic recovery for months to come.
Edwin Melendez, director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York, said such widespread outages would affect millions of people and deal double blows to communities in the island's mountainous interior whose water systems depend on electricity. Two sectors of the Puerto Rican economy that have shown signs of life, tourism and agriculture, would also suffer. "It’s a grim picture no matter how you slice it," Melendez said.
Puerto Rican community leaders and elected officials in the diaspora are calling for a renewed effort to assist Puerto Rico with disaster relief and recovery from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Many families have lost their homes and need assistance with basic needs.
You can help by donating to charities in Puerto Rico that are leading the effort to mitigate the unfolding humanitarian crisis. Here are some proven organizations with direct access to the victims of these hurricanes. You can visit their online donations or send a check to the enclosed address.
Fondos Unidos de Puerto Rico
Caritas Puerto Rico
201 Calle San Jorge
Esquina Baldorioty de Castro
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00902
P.O. Box 8812, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00910-0812
tel: 787 300-4953
Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico
Hurricane Maria Children's Relief Fund
Save the Children
501 Kings Highway East, Suite 400,
Fairfield, CT 06825
Maria & Irma: Puerto Rico Real-time Recovery Fund
1511 Ave. Ponce de León Suite K, La Ciudadela
San Juan P.R. 00909