Hurricane Fiona made landfall on Puerto Rico as a category one hurricane but left behind damage comparable to that of a category 4 or 5. Though the storm did not meet the requirements for a higher classification level, it exposed the fragility of the island’s infrastructure, which had still not fully recovered from the damages caused by Hurricane Maria.
Hurricane Maria, which tore through the island of Puerto Rico at a category four back in 2017, resulted in colossal damages and the deaths of nearly 3,000 people. Those who survived the storm and its resulting repercussions were left to endure weeks to months without power and scarce resources. According to NPR’s Jaclyn Diaz, one person even went as long as a year without power. Maria resulted in $100 billion in damages and a weakened power grid.
The island was still recovering when Fiona struck, setting them back even further. Now, because of Hurricane Fiona, locals are dealing with flooding, a mass power outage, and a shortage of resources like water. Not to mention the immense emotional turmoil and trauma that comes from having your home destroyed and being left without.
The damage done by Fiona has not yet been fully surveyed yet, as parts of the island are still inaccessible. However, what we do know about the damages recorded already is that it is anticipated to be a multi-billion dollar expense. Just to give people an idea of the scale of the damage done by Hurricane Fiona, the parts of the island that had minimal flooding received around 4 inches of rain, whereas those who received the worst of it, received up to 30 inches of rain, 59 people had to be rescued by the National Guard in worse off communities, and over 900,000 people are still without power, days after the storm struck, according to NPR.
For those who are interested in taking action to help those who have been affected by Hurricane Fiona, consider donating to one of these relief organizations. For those of you who still want to help but can’t make a donation can still call your legislators and let them know that Puerto Rico needs help.
- Direct Relief – This is an organization that aids health professionals with assessing and caring for those in “resource-poor communities.” They are currently assessing the needs of health professionals as a result of Fiona.
- Taller Salud – This woman-led non-profit is currently accepting donations in the forms of non-perishable foods, water, water filters, toiletries, money, and more. These goods can be mailed to Calle 1 D40 Urb Jardines de Loiza PR 00772 or Carr 187 km 24.4 Parcelas Vieques #33 Mediania Alta Loiza PR 00772, and digital payments can be made through PayPal on their website.
Hispanic Federation – This non-profit is currently on the grounds of Puerto Rico, helping those most affected by the storm. They are distributing aid and supplies to those in need.