On the morning of 21 September 2017, Carlos Lago and Justina Díaz Bisbal emerged from their household into a post-apocalyptic world. Their once-lush five-acre fruit farm in southern Puerto Rico was entirely stripped of its foliage. Tree limbs were broken or twisted; pieces of metal from nearby homes, trash, and even a mattress were strewn across their property. The damage wrought by Hurricane Maria was unlike anything the older couple had ever witnessed.
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Puerto Rico, which is still in shambles after it took an infrastructure-shattering direct hit from Hurricane Maria in September, has submitted a long-shot bid to host Amazon's second headquarters.
Tropical Depression Nate, the former hurricane which pummelled the Gulf Coast near Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama at Category 1 status early Sunday, has made the 2017 hurricane season one of the worst on record since 1893 and possibly earlier.
Project Loon, the former Google X Lab enterprise to provide mobile data to rural areas and disaster zones via high-altitude weather balloons now run by Google's parent company Alphabet, may soon get another major test drive.
The FEMA website has been an important tool for keeping people up to date on disaster recovery efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. But yesterday, the agency deleted statistics about how many people have access to electricity and clean water on the island. The FEMA website now only displays information that casts the recovery efforts in a positive light.
When Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands as a Category 4 storm this past month, it immediately brought devastation from winds, flooding and storm surge to many Americans. The entire island lost electricity. While there's been some recovery to the power grid and shorter petrol lines, the next concern is more sinister.
Nearly a week after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, US President Trump finally waived the Jones Act for the island, allowing more emergency supplies reach the battered territory's shores. The World War I-era law prevented foreign-owned ships from delivering their goods for days, leaving Puerto Rico without enough food, water, and fuel. And that's only the beginning of the small island's problems.
Hurricane Maria left Puerto Rico absolutely devastated. We're talking flattened houses, lost lives, shattered power grids, flooded towns, forests destroyed -- devastated. On top of all that, mobile phone service, one of the island's most important lines of communication, has been almost entirely cut. So many are now struggling just to tell their families they're OK.
A mere two weeks after Hurricane Irma barrelled through the Caribbean, there's yet another Category 5 hurricane that's wreaking havoc in the region. After inflicting "widespread devastation" to the island of Dominica, Hurricane Maria is now making a beeline towards the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.