A Humanitarian Crisis: Puerto Rico After the Hurricanes
Following the onslaught ofHurricane Irma, Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands thought they saw the last of the damage. The effects of the next tropical storm, category 4 Hurricane Maria, were of catastrophic measures on Puerto Rico especially. Entire homes were left in shambles along with an island wide power outage.
To this day, a majority of the island is without power. The few places that do have power are some hospitals, airports, and canals. Inhabitants of Puerto Rico are currently attempting to flee the island at airports. New York Representative Nydia Veláquez commented on the significance of the damage done to Puerto Rico, “If you don’t take this crisis seriously, this is going to be your Katrina.”
President Trump donated $3 million dollars to disaster relief. However, the total disaster relief costs in Puerto Rico alone are conservatively estimated to be $30 billion. President Trump also waived the Jones Act for 10 days, despite some in Congress arguing the act should be waived for longer. Since Puerto Rico is merely a territory of the United States, the colony does not have any voting power in Congress. As a result, Puerto Rico patiently awaits much needed assistance from the government. Many have criticized Trump for his efforts to help Puerto Rico after his help with Texas and Florida after Hurricane Irma.
Celebrities have started donation efforts to provide aid for Puerto Rico during this humanitarian crisis. American singer Jennifer Lopez announced that she will donate $1 million to disaster relief and American Rapper Pitbull sent a private jet to evacuate cancer patients stuck on the island. Private donations continue to be sent to Puerto Rico as well.