When a natural disaster hits a community, it’s common for that community to rally around those in need. Time and again, in the aftermath of disasters, we read heartwarming stories of those who went to extremes to help and nurture those directly affected by disasters. This is especially true in the case of Hurricane Maria and Puerto Rico.
When the storm hit Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, the island was still recovering from Hurricane Irma just two weeks prior. Thousands were still without power, and homes had been destroyed. As the community prepared for Hurricane Maria, many took shelter at designated locations, and evacuated dangerous areas.
In the aftermath of the storm, many areas saw extreme damage, with total costs estimated at nearly $94 billion. Electricity, cell phone service, and water service were effectively wiped out, and though the United States provided the island with some federal aid, the massive damage was difficult to mitigate. What’s happening in Puerto Rico now is the gathering of people, creating a strong sense of community and compassion.
The Puerto Rican community came together as a whole to aid those in distress. Some were seen cooking hot meals on gas stoves and handing them out to those in need, despite a fuel shortage. Neighbors formed teams to remove fallen foliage and clear roadways, checking on the elderly and disabled. Efforts were made to reconnect families through vast human networks, and connections were made all across the island.
Puerto Rico is known for its lively spirit, and though Hurricane Maria might have dampened it slightly, the community response has been inspiring. Everyone joined together to help their fellow man, and to restore the natural beauty of the island. Though recovery will take time, the indomitable spirit of the island shines through at even the worst of times.