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Puerto Rico has been left devastated after Hurricane Fiona passed through the island, causing overwhelming flooding and triggering catastrophic mudslides.
The hurricane, which moved quickly onto the Dominican Republic, left more than a million people without running water and destroyed scores of homes.
At least three deaths were reported.
“Catastrophic and life-threatening flash, urban, and moderate to major river flooding, as well as mudslides, are likely for southern and eastern Puerto Rico through Tuesday due to rainfall from Hurricane Fiona,” the National Weather Service said ahead of Fiona’s landing.
Fiona, which intensified to a Category 3 storm overnight with sustained winds of 115 mph, is now moving towards the west of Bermuda. By Thursday night, Fiona is expected to have strengthened to Category 4.
Following the wreckage, President Biden assured Gov. Pedro R. Pierluisi that federal support personnel in Puerto Rico would “increase substantially.” There are currently just 300 rescue workers on the ground helping the island recover from Hurricane Fiona.
“As Puerto Rico faces the effects of Hurricane Fiona, we have received approval of the Federal Emergency Declaration by President Biden, which activates FEMA to work with our administration to effectively respond to damages caused by the storm. I thank the Biden-Harris Administration and FEMA for this support now and always. We will continue to collaborate with all federal agencies to assist our people. I reiterate our call to all citizens to remain at home protecting their lives until the weather improves,” said Pierluisi.
Puerto Rico is still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Maria in 2017.
FEMA’s response to Hurricane Maria was widely criticized. Last year, a report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General revealed that then-President Donald Trump blocked an investigation into why officials withheld roughly $20 billion in hurricane relief for Puerto Rico.
Many are now calling on donors not to give money to the Red Cross or to Fema. You can find some alternative charities to donate to below.