By: Eman McNeal
Puerto Rico has a long history of tropical storms but none of them were like hurricane Maria. Hurricane Maria took a disastrous toll on Puerto Rico on September 20th of 2017. This was a category 4 — nearly 5 — storm with winds reaching more than 157 mph, which destroyed millions of homes. Some parts of Puerto Rico saw 30 inches of rain in one day. The entire island lost power. The official death toll is listed at 66 but more than 900 people have died after the tropical storm. The storm lasted for more than 30 hours & left behind widespread destruction. US President Donald Trump slowly reacted to the disaster seemingly more focused on other things. When he finally did give a response, he tweeted the obvious saying that Puerto Rico needed help. With no power, scarce water supply, and homes completely destroyed, Puerto Rico was in a desperate state. 13 days after landfall, Trump finally arrived in Puerto Rico. He threw paper towels into the crowd and went on to mention how they have “thrown our budget a little out of whack.” I spoke with some students around the campus to get their take on this devastating storm and the follow-up action. Almost every student had in common the fact that they are not pleased with how Trump handled the situation or his preparation leading up to landfall. One particular student, Yosef Montague, was personally affected and emotionally involved. He is from Puerto Rico. His family moved from Puerto Rico a while ago and luckily were not caught in the storm, but it was a tragedy to see his home destroyed. Many students felt this tragedy and sent prayers and recovery to the families in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is slowly but surely remaining strong and making efforts to rebuild their lives. At this point in time, some generators have been brought in, with many other supplies. Power is being restored, along with water supply, as well as houses and shelters being rebuilt. Many people have relocated and are hoping to return home soon. We always hope to never see hardships like this take place, but when they do we hope the government will take immediate action and support their citizens.