Hurricane Fiona Leaves One Million In Puerto Rico & The Dominican Republic Without Drinking Water
Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands are being hit with another massive hurricane years after the devastation left by Hurricane Maria. This storm, named Hurricane Fiona, first touched down in Southwest Puerto Rico on Sunday, causing a blackout on the whole island as well as extremely destructive flooding and mudslides.
As of Monday, the huge storm Fiona is now over both the Dominican Republic and parts of Puerto Rico, and could leave as much as 30 inches of rainfall on the island before it lets up. Over one million residents of the two islands are now without drinking water.
Power outages after the storm have also sharpened local critique of the company LUMA Energy, which took over operation of their power grid in July of 2021 which infamously caused widespread power outages on the island.
Local Puerto Ricans have protested the control this company, a joint venture between two North American energy companies, for having control over their power and causing tons of issue. The company was founded by Houston’s Quanta Services, INC. and the Alberta, Canada-based ATCO.
Among other problems, they have claimed that LUMA has been negligent in its handling of the power grid, doesn’t have enough staff and resources to take care of problems or even field customer complaints and multiple rate increases since they have taken over.
Even music stars are using their platforms to protest this company.
Bad Bunny recently released an over 20-minute video titled “El Apagón – Aquí Vive Gente,” which translates in English roughly to “The Blackout – People Live Here.”
The video includes performances by the rapper, as well as footage showing the effects the blackout has on people trying to live their lives on the island territory, as well as testimonies from locals themselves.
Even if you don’t speak Spanish, this video is well-produced and is still a fantastic visual portrait of the people living in Puerto Rico and this awful situation.
President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency for Puerto Rico this past weekend, and approved Federal emergency aid for them through FEMA. If you’re interested in donating to help the people of Puerto Rico, consider giving to the Puerto Rico Community Foundation, which as been operating on the island for almost 40 years.
Flooding in the Dominican Republic is likely as well, and Fiona is likely to reach the Bahamas later on Monday and Turks and Caicos early-Tuesday.
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