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[liberationtech] “Hysteria is starting to spread”: Puerto Rico is devastated in the wake of Hurricane Maria

Andrés Leopoldo Pacheco Sanfuentes alps6085 at gmail.com
Mon Sep 25 19:47:36 PDT 2017


Hard to believe "hearsay" when major newspapers talk about serious power grid issues that'd take months to address, with a bankrupt island in receivership ruled from Washington by a "Fiscal Board." People were already in a dire situation before the storm!

Regards / Saludos / Grato

Andrés Leopoldo Pacheco Sanfuentes

> On Sep 25, 2017, at 7:13 PM, CharBee <beevangelist at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> I've several friends there who refute this narrative. There are many areas returning to power each day. They are driving to almost all points of the island. They are not hungry, in fact they're eating more because of spoilage. This is not to say there is not need or disaster to fix, but this narrative of total annihilation is just not true. 
> 
>> On Sep 25, 2017 19:05, "Lina Srivastava" <lina at linasrivastava.com> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> 
>> Friends of mine from the PR diaspora in NYC have put together this effort, in case anyone wants a way to help remotely beyond donations: https://www.ecokitduffle.org/ 
>> 
>> This is from the description they've circulated:  "Based on the estimation that the island of Puerto Rico will be without electric power for months, the Puerto Rican Diaspora in New York and Connecticut have organized "EcoKit," a lightweight and eco friendly duffle bag for off the grid survival. Eco Kit Puerto Rico gives you an itemized list carefully selected for Puerto Rico's resilience after Hurricane Maria. The list serves as a guide for organizations, communities, families and individuals. We've partnered up with Loisaida Center in the Lower East Side NYC as collection base for Eco Kit items. There, kits are assembled and picked up by organizations' liaisons who are flying to the island and distributing them directly..."
>> 
>> Lina
>> 
>>> On Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 7:53 PM, Yosem Companys <ycompanys at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> “Hysteria is starting to spread”: Puerto Rico is devastated in the wake of Hurricane Maria
>>> 
>>> No power, little access to water, dwindling food: the situation in Puerto Rico right now.
>>> 
>>> Updated by Brian Resnick on September 25, 2017 5:06 pm
>>> 
>>> [snip]
>>> 
>>> Among the greatest threats is the continuing lack of power throughout much of the island, after nearly the entire power grid was knocked offline during the storm (about 80 percent of the transmission infrastructure was destroyed). The New York Times reports it could be four to six months before power is restored on the island. That’s half a year with Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million residents relying on generators, half a year without air conditioning in the tropical climate, half a year where electric pumps can’t bring running water into homes, half a year where even the most basic tasks of modern life are made difficult.
>>> 
>>> [...]
>>> 
>>> “Being without power is huge,” says Mutter. “Just how quickly they can get it back is still an unknown thing. But it’s extremely important they get it going to suppress the chances of illness following the storm.”
>>> 
>>> [...]
>>> 
>>> Puerto Rico is the most populated island Maria hit. And the crisis there is particularly intense. For one, it’s exacerbated by lack of communications. (1,360 out of 1,600 cellphone towers on the island are out.) Many communities have been isolated from the outside world for days, relying only on radios for news. The communications shortage means the full extent of the crisis has not been assessed.
>>> 
>>> "The devastation in Puerto Rico has set us back nearly 20 to 30 years," Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez told CBS News. "I can't deny that the Puerto Rico of now is different from that of a week ago. The destruction of properties, of flattened structures, of families without homes, of debris everywhere. The island's greenery is gone."
>>> 
>>> [...]
>>> 
>>> The Washington Post reported from Juncos, Puerto Rico, a municipality in the Central Eastern region of the island. There, they found a diabetic woman afraid that the refrigeration that keeps her insulin preserved will soon run out, people living in homes missing roofs or whole second floors, and where the villagers asked journalists upon their arrival, “Are you FEMA?”
>>> 
>>> There are few hospitals with running generators, CNN reports, and fewer with running water. Reuters reports that hospitals are scrambling to find diesel fuels to power generators, and that food supplies are running low. A cardiovascular surgeon the newswire spoke with explained:
>>> 
>>> …without air conditioning, the walls of the operating room were dripping with condensation and floors were slippery. ... Most patients had been discharged or evacuated to other facilities, but some patients remained because their families could not be reached by phone.
>>> 
>>> USA Today made it to the town Arecibo on the Northern shore of the island, where residents hadn’t heard any news from the outside world for four days, and the only source of fresh water is from a single fire hydrant.
>>> 
>>> “Hysteria is starting to spread,” Jose Sanchez Gonzalez, mayor of Manati, a town on the North shore, told the Associated Press. “The hospital is about to collapse. It’s at capacity. … We need someone to help us immediately.”
>>> 
>>> But the list of woes is much longer. An untold number of homes are irreparably damaged. Infrastructure is badly damaged. People aren’t working. The storm was particularly costly for the agriculture industry: “In a matter of hours, Hurricane Maria wiped out about 80 percent of the crop value in Puerto Rico,” the New York Times reports.
>>> 
>>> Even the National Weather Services Doppler weather radar station on the island has been destroyed. That’s the radar that helps meteorologist see where thunderstorms and other weather systems are moving in real time. “Not having radar does make future storms more hazardous,” says Jeff Weber, a meteorologist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
>>> 
>>> Meanwhile, new crises keep forming in the wake of the storm. On Friday, the National Weather Service issued a dire warning about the Guajataca Dam in the Northwestern corner of Puerto Rico, threatening downstream areas with deadly floods. Seventy thousand people — enough to fill a small city — have been asked to evacuate areas that could be flooded by the nearly 11 billion gallons of water the dam holds back.
>>> 
>>> And leaving is not an option, at least for now. “Travelers at the airport on Sunday were told that passengers who do not already have tickets may not be able to secure flights out until October 4,” Reuters reports.
>>> 
>>> Puerto Rico is an island, which complicates recovery efforts. Supplies have to be flown in or arrive via ship. Most of the sick and elderly haven’t been able to evacuate.
>>> 
>>> [...]
>>> 
>>> https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/energy-and-environment/2017/9/25/16360488/hurricane-maria-2017-puerto-rico-recovery-san-juan-hospitals-electricty-cell-service
>>> 
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>> 
>> 
>> 
>> -- 
>> 
>> --
>> Lina Srivastava
>> --
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>> www.cielab.in
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> Liberationtech is public & archives are searchable on Google. Violations of list guidelines will get you moderated: https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/liberationtech. Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password by emailing the moderator at zakwhitt at stanford.edu.
> -- 
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