Hurricane Maria Batters Puerto Rico

Jasmine Fernandez, Editor-In-Chief

Just weeks after the events of September’s Hurricane Irma and subsequently, Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico has yet to recover from the effects of the storms. According to the Chicago Tribune, Hurricane Maria was “one of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit [the island].”


Local officials have reported that Puerto Rico has completely lost power and are unsure as to when technicians will be able to restore the island’s electricity. Residents are also quickly running out of provisions such as drinkable water and food, fueling the U.S. territory’s state of emergency.


American citizens across the country have expressed their concern for the island’s security, including Francesca Ortiz, 11.


“I feel like it was something that I would’ve heard many years ago and not something that would happen today,” Ortiz said. “I can’t even begin to understand how one can be without power in a world that depends on it for so many things such as power for refrigerators to eat and preserve food and power to charge our phones.”


Those on the mainland have begun efforts to aid the island post-hurricane, though many, such as 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, are seizing the opportunity to criticise the Trump administration for its absence of support. On Sept. 24, the ex-Secretary of State took to Twitter to address the president.


“President Trump… should send the Navy, including the USNS Comfort, to Puerto Rico now,” Clinton stated. “These are American people.”


Other citizens, such as Alberto Flores, 11, have opted to give U.S. officials the benefit of the doubt.


“I feel empathy towards those families who are suffering beyond words and that I send my deepest regards,” Flores stated. “As for the U.S.’s efforts, I would assume that they would want to do everything they can to support [Puerto Rico] for this random natural disaster.”


In addition to destruction brought by the storms, Puerto Rico is in the midst of a financial crisis, summiting at a 45% island-wide poverty rate. Humanitarians, such as Kay Urquieta, 11, hope that the U.S. will seek to repair the territory’s economic and political situation alongside physical damage.


“The United States has an obligation to the people of Puerto Rico just like it does to all people that live in the country. Aid after natural disasters is no different,” Urquieta said. “Additionally, it should oversee improvements to the state of life in Puerto Rico for its people who are suffering in poverty and a lack of fair treatment as a U.S. territory.”

To learn more about Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria, and how to aid the effort, visit:,, and