The third major hurricane in the Atlantic this year made landfall in Puerto Rico early Wednesday morning, causing catastrophic amounts of damage and leaving the entire island without electricity. The category four hurricane’s devastation came almost two weeks after Irma.
The storm is said to have slammed into the island at approximately 6:15 a.m. and affected the entire 100-mile-wide island. A reported 20+ inches of rain fell for hours on end, and winds of up to 155 mph blew out windows and ripped palm trees out of the ground. Approaching a category 5 at the time of landfall, Maria is the worst hurricane to hit the island since 1932.
As of Wednesday night, the hurricane had left the island, but in a state of obliteration. Widespread flooding occurred, trees were ripped out of the ground and homes were destroyed. More than 10,000 people are reported to be seeking refuge in shelters and search and rescue teams have taken to the darkened streets.
There has been no official word on the extent of the damages, but it is clear that Maria has caused significant economic destruction. This destruction will come as detrimental to the island’s economy, which has faced an eleven-year recession. A spokesman for the governor described the state of the island as “total devastation” and claimed that Puerto Rico will never be the same.
Maria is now expected to hit the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Prior to hitting Puerto Rico, the storm hit Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Croix and St. Thomas.
If you would like to donate to the victims of Hurricane Maria, here are some resources: