“I’ve never been so scared in my life,” Nelson Rivera, a resident of Ponce told the Associated Press after fleeing his home. ” I didn’t think we would get out. I said: ‘We’ll be buried here.’ “
The governor of #PuertoRico declared a state of emergency after the 6.4 magnitude #earthquake this morning. Puerto Ricans are still waiting for the U.S. to step up its recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria and will now need more help. https://t.co/M6ccy6uqVg— Albio Sires (@RepSires) January 7, 2020
I get so frightened for the people of Puerto Rico when any natural disaster hits the island. After I read and learned so much about the hits the island has taken financially and from natural disasters over the past few decades, I can only wonder how much more they can bear.
It feels like Puerto Rico is a part of America that is forgotten and treated as if it isn’t part of the United States. Many people in America don’t even know that it IS a part of the US. The people there still call 9-1-1 in emergencies, and when Americans visit, guess what, their cell phones still work as if they never left the mainland. So why is Puerto Rico not cared for in the same way as other states (not Louisiana – that was also a big fail on America’s part… oh, and not Flint, Michigan either)? You may see a pattern here that can help explain.
Watch this documentary by PBS/Frontline for some context…
The natural rock archway, Punta Ventana, fell into the Caribbean sea on Monday after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook Puerto Rico.
Today’s earthquake that damaged even more buildings and knocked out an electrical system that was never fully restored after Hurricane Maria, measured 6.4.
The island has been plagued with tremors and earthquakes for the past two weeks, and as of Tuesday, one man had died when the walls of his home collapsed on him. Many others have been injured by falling debris. The only comfort that the people of Puerto Rico have right at this moment is that the tsunami warning that was issued on Tuesday after the 6.4 earthquake, was canceled.
La advertencia de tsunami ha sido CANCELADA. @wandavazquezg— Manejo de Emergencias (@NMEADpr) January 7, 2020
John Geiger, a geophysicist with the USGS explained to NPR, “The past several weeks we’ve had hundreds of small earthquakes in the same region. It began on Dec. 28, when we had a 4.7-magnitude [earthquake] there. Since the 4.7, we’ve had over 400 magnitude 2+ earthquakes.”
So what can we do? If you watched the film above and read about the fraud and corruption that happened with not only government agencies, but contractors and those claiming to contribute to relief efforts, you know that the scammers come out in full force after tragedies such as this one.
Here are three suggestions.
- Use social media to reach out to those that you know with family in Puerto Rico, and find out who they trust to deliver aid and supplies.
- If you have family or friends in the area affected by the earthquake, contact them and find out if they need a place to stay in a safer area of the island or in another area in the region until they can recover.
- One call, text or WhatsApp message probably won’t do it. Electricity is hard to come by, so keep trying to reach people and find out how you can help. Find out who you can help personally. Hopefully, they will share the help you give them with others in need.
Do you have ideas or know of reputable relief agencies that we can contact to help the families in Puerto Rico? Please share in the comments.