Published: Sun, September 23, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Puerto Rican community remembers lives lost in Hurricane Maria one year later

Puerto Rican community remembers lives lost in Hurricane Maria one year later

NY state has contributed food, water and first-aid supplies and dispatched utility workers, nurses and other skilled professionals to Puerto Rico since the island was devastated by the hurricane a year ago this week.

Once there, they repaired and replaced roofs, windows and doors, in addition to sanitizing and removing mold from homes.

"One year (after the event) is quite good for what we generally do", U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson said.

On the one year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, Amnesty International is urging accountability from the Trump Administration for its negligence in preparing and responding to Hurricane Maria, with visuals projected onto the Trump Hotel in Washington DC, as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

NY is dispatching more college students to help rebuild homes in Puerto Rico. Despite blue tarps still covering missing roofs on thousands of homes, and citizens living with unstable access to electricity or clean drinking water, little help has arrived from cash-strapped local governments or the Trump administration.

"It shows people can help each other if they want to", she said. Protests were planned in San Juan and elsewhere, as well as a funeral procession.

Earlier this month, Puerto Rico's Gov. Ricardo Rosselló formally raised the death toll from Hurricane Maria to an estimated 2,975 from 64 following a study conducted by researchers at The George Washington University. "Puerto Rico should be better than this".

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"I went into depression, the whole year I've been under depression", she said.

Cruz-Torres added those in the coastal areas, fishermen in particular, were among the hardest hit because of the gear and boats they lost.

"They saved five dogs that were drowning", she said of the rescue effort after Florence hit, adding that she feels Puerto Rico didn't get the same treatment.

He said the exhibition walks a fine line, with some paintings showing handsome landscapes alongside trailers set up by Puerto Rico's forensics institute as part of the effort to try to identify the bodies of those who perished in the storm.

Like many, Rodriguez hoped that after Thursday, she would no longer be bombarded by photos and videos that make her feel like she's reliving Hurricane Maria. There also will be live music that will incorporate sounds of the hurricane hitting the island.

While 60,000 homes remain protected only by temporary roofing, many people say they are still waiting for the approval of insurance claims. "But there will be certain uncomfortable moments".

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