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User Image el_venezolano Posted: Nov 16, 2017 10:09 PM (UTC)
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Hurricane María. Day 57: Caníaco. When you have 9 days without any type of communication, a road blocked and no way to leave your surroundings, the imagination comes to play a huge role. Iván Sotomayor, along with his father and brother, built a zip line in order to being able to exit from their house and use it to transport food, water, gasoline and other supplies.
Luckily his house doesn’t have any major damage. FEMA refused to deliver the aid alleging he didn't live in the house by the time when the Hurricane María hit.
The houses of his father and his brother suffered the greatest damages and it looks like FEMA will assist them.
None of the 3 families that are isolated have electricity and running water.
Mostly they depend on the generosity of ordinary people. A Facebook video about them went viral and since then, many supplies have been crossing the zip line. Their neighbors shout to them from the opposite bank to let them know that some donation arrived and they even receive them when Ivan and his family are not at home.
While Ivan works in a hardware store near his home, his wife takes care of the 8-year-old son because the school is still closed.
Iván used to have eight dogs. Only one survived.
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User Image el_venezolano Posted: Nov 15, 2017 9:38 PM (UTC)
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Hurricane María. Day 56: Villa Hugo, Canóvanas. As soon as María Carrasco saw me, she invited me to her house and quickly began to explain the damages that the hurricane did on her house. Luckily they were minor damages.
Her husband have alzheimer, so I guess he hasn't realized that they have been without electricity for almost two months
María has weeks without being able to sleep for eight hours in one night. she used to sleep with the windows open, but when the smoke from the neighbor's generator started coming in through the window she had to start closing them every night.
She’s waiting for FEMA. A long wait, as most of the Puerto Ricans.
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User Image el_venezolano Posted: Nov 14, 2017 11:12 PM (UTC)
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Hurricane Maria. Day 55: Villa Hugo, Canóvanas. What looks like an open space is where the house of Danny Guerrero and his wife used to be.
No roof, no walls, no appliances, clothes or mattress, only the fighting cocks survive. This is the second time in his life that a hurricane left him virtually without home. Danny said that will build a concrete house as soon as he gets the aid from FEMA.
That will probably take longer than expected. FEMA denied the aid alleging that they didn’t live at his house when Hurricane Maria hit. What FEMA is not considering is the fact that they had to evacuate 2 weeks prior due to Hurricane Irma, and they couldn’t return home because it was affected.
Danny will appeal the FEMA decision. In the meantime, a neighbor who lives three houses away is renting them a room.
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User Image el_venezolano Posted: Nov 13, 2017 10:52 PM (UTC)
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Hurricane Maria. Day 54: Villa Hugo, Canóvanas. Cesar Almeida used to live alone in this house. Although his house have concrete walls and the roof had zync, winds blow away the roof and the rain and water destroy everything inside. After Hurricane Maria a neighbor let him stay at his basement. FEMA already visit him and tell him that he needs to wait for a final decision. 10 days has been passed since that visit. On the meantime Cesar spend his days and nights on that basement.
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User Image el_venezolano Posted: Nov 12, 2017 9:53 PM (UTC)
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Hurricane Maria. Day 53: Villa Hugo, Canóvanas. About 30 years ago Hurricane Hugo made landfall on the east of Puerto Rico. A category 4 hurricane left thousands of people without home. Some of those families build their houses on what later was called Villa Hugo. About 6000 people faced again the strong winds of a Hurricane. Many have lost their houses.
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User Image el_venezolano Posted: Nov 9, 2017 10:28 PM (UTC)
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Hurricane Maria. Day 50: Mameyes Abajo. No much to say. No mood today. No electricity. No progress. No, Puerto Rico is not “levantandose”.
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User Image el_venezolano Posted: Nov 8, 2017 9:57 PM (UTC)
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Hurricane Maria. Day 49: Manatí. Junior Gonzalez decided to make extra money selling his flags on the streets. Puerto Ricans are very proud of their flag and these days there is a proliferation of them being carry on cars, trucks, billboards, business among many others. That is why he took his flags to the streets to sell them for $3 a small flag and $5 for a big one. There’s also t-shirts, badges and rings. He also offers U.S. flags. Some people purchase both flags, Junior said.
He has a formal business in Florida town, PR. and during these days is being attended and managed by his wife (who is not the woman pictured above, though).
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User Image el_venezolano Posted: Nov 8, 2017 12:47 AM (UTC)
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Hurricane Maria. Day 48: Barrio Tetuan 3, Jayuya. The neighbors built a temporary bridge using the trees knocked down by the hurricane, but a few days ago they had to close it because it is not safe enough to cross. Some people cross the river with their all terrain cars, some others just cross the river walking. nobody knows if the government is planning to repair the bridge any time soon. On the meantime, the 20 families that live around here devised a system to cross the river taking advantage of the fact almost all of these families have two cars. Here is what they do: People who need to go to work or buy food drive up to the river and leave the first car on the river bank, walk through it, jump on the second car parked on other side and do the opposite when they return.
As many other “pueblo” from this area, they still don’t have electricity nor running water.
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User Image el_venezolano Posted: Nov 6, 2017 10:33 PM (UTC)
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Hurricane Maria. Day 47: Jayuya.
The National Guard has been in this town since the first day after the hurricane extracting water and filtering it to make it suitable for the community's consumption. This community still doesn't have running water, so the 29,000 gallons per day filtered by the soldiers are their only solution.
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User Image el_venezolano Posted: Nov 5, 2017 12:09 PM (UTC)
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Hurricane Maria. Day 46: Manatí. Santos Candelaria has been married for 45 years with Evelyn Rivera. About 12 years ago Evelyn begun to forget some things; first it was names, then faces and many other basic stuff. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer. The diabetes came after along with gastrointestinal problems and now she depends on a artificial lunge to breathe and stay alive.
On September the 20th the nightmare started for Santos and his sons. As soon as the Hurricane Maria hit Manatí, the power outage affected the only way to keep Evelyn alive.
About 2 weeks ago they arrive to the Coliseo Juan Aubin Cruz Abreu after being in several hospitals. The Coliseo is the place in where the federal government establish an emergency hospital.
Santos spends day and night next to his wife and a guitar. Santos sings serenades to her with hope of bringing her comfort while the rest of the patients thanks hims as well as the hospital crew.
“This place is like a movie without music”, says Santos as he plays his guitar.
He expects Evelyn stays on the hospital until the government keeps it open or the power is restored at home. Not sure what will come first, but in the meantime Santos keeps playing his guitar maybe looking for a little bit of comfort for himself.
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User Image el_venezolano Posted: Nov 1, 2017 11:52 PM (UTC)
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Hurricane Maria. Day 42: Viví Arriba, Utuado. Heriberto Maldonado, 78. Born and raised in this town. He was already here when hurricanes George, Hugo and even Santa Clara arrived to the island, he was only 16 years old at that time. None of those hurricane were so strong as Maria.
He has been married to Maria Lopez for 55 years, with whom he has 4 children.
One of his sons and granddaughters lives a few steps away in a house that was severely affected. The roof was completely ripped, causing a total loss of everything, even two kitchen walls.
Like many of the other people I've met during this coverage, they have not received major help from the government so far.
Two weeks ago a group of volunteers brought them food, water and medicines. They also noticed that Heriberto's generator was damaged, so they took it to San Juan for a week to fix for him. That generator is the only trace of the 21st century that can be seen around this place.
Oh, btw, the road to these community is blocked so, the only way to arrive or leave is with a ten minutes walk.
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User Image el_venezolano Posted: Oct 31, 2017 1:29 AM (UTC)
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Hurricane Maria. Day 40: Rio Abajo, Utuado. 23 families (115 people aprox.) survives thanks to a zip line.
Carlos Ocacio lives on a house near to the broken bridge, so he can see when the people comes to this area to deliver food everyday. But it's not just food, also water, gasoline and other supplies. He usually spend the all day there coordinating the logistics. They receive all the supplies and store them in the church before distributing them among the families of the town.
Most of the aid is being given by citizens. No government. No FEMA. No electricity, No water.
The guys dressed as soldiers are part of an aid group formed by a nearby church.
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User Image el_venezolano Posted: Oct 27, 2017 11:47 PM (UTC)
ginnypinero
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Hurricane Maria. Day 37: San Juan. Aid comes from many different ways. For about a month the World Central Kitchen (Non profit organization) setup a huge kitchen at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico with the help of many chefs and volunteers. The goal, deliver free meals to the people who need it. The first day of operations they provide about 1500 meals, now the progress is fascinating: about 150 thousands meals per day and almost 2 millions meals to date. When I visit the facilities didn’t have the chance to meet the person in charge (@chefjoseandres) but I met the local coordinator Ginny Piñero. She told me that they will keep doing this service until the emergency is still underway.
With sadness I just saw an interview from the Chef Jose Andres complaining about the high cost of the rent at the coliseo (“the most expensive rent” where his exact words), so now the kitchen will be moved to another facility and expect to keep doing the same service as today.
I can guarantee that the emergency is almost the same as the day 1.
73% is still without electricity and 22% without clean water, according to the Gov data (status.pr).
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User Image el_venezolano Posted: Oct 24, 2017 11:38 PM (UTC)
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Hurricane Maria. Day 35: Río Grande. Marcial Rodríguez barbershop lost the roof and now he cuts hair at the street. An average of 20 clients come daily and pay $8 for a haircut. During the day he uses a car battery to plug his hair clipper. When the night falls the flashlight of some cellphone helps him to finish the work. He’ll continue to work in the street until the possibility to fix the roof appears.
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User Image el_venezolano Posted: Oct 23, 2017 10:55 PM (UTC)
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Hurricane Maria. Day 34: Rio Grande. Entremeses el Duque is the restaurant of Alcy Vargas. A father of two and husband. Their home is next to the restaurant, they share the same land, actually. The day of the hurricane he was alone, he ask a relative in the mainland to receive his wife and children. Early in the morning on September the 20th the river El Espíritu Santo overflows and flooded the house and the restaurant. Alcy had to swim in order to reach a safer area. More than six feet of water destroyed everything inside the house and inside the business.
A month later the nightmare hasn’t end. He doesn’t have enough money to restore his life.
Alcy have a disability.
He applied for the disaster relief that FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is providing. No luck. FEMA said said that because the house is registered as a business, it doesn't qualify for federal aid.
He’ll apply for a credit in order to seek to restore his business and his house.
Alcy said that the best “Mondongo” is made on his restaurant.
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User Image el_venezolano Posted: Oct 22, 2017 4:40 PM (UTC)
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Hurricane Maria. Day 33: Rio Grande. Some areas in this sector haven't had electricity since Hurricane Irma (47 days ago). That is why every day they form long lines to buy 2 bags of ice per person in order to keep food fresh.
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User Image el_venezolano Posted: Oct 19, 2017 10:23 PM (UTC)
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Hurricane Maria. Day 30: Destruction, blocked roads, landslides, floods, rain, lack of electricity, lack of water ... Common words these days in Puerto Rico.
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User Image el_venezolano Posted: Oct 18, 2017 9:53 PM (UTC)
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Hurricane Maria. Day 29: Caonillas Arriba. Mr. Ulpiano Matos is the head of the Matos Family. He says that what they really need urgently is potable water. He seems thankful when the helicopter from the US Coast Guards delivers some packs of bottle water. Now he has to distribute those boxes of water between 80 people all around the village. The Coast Guard has been using Mr. Ulpiano's yard as an informal heliport and they have brought medical attention, water and food to the villagers.
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User Image el_venezolano Posted: Oct 17, 2017 10:25 PM (UTC)
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Hurricane Maria. Day 28: Caonillas Abajo. Niurka's house is without power and running water. As a mother, wife and housewife she takes care of the home duties under any circumstances. She lives a few miles from this water fall where I found her washing clothes along with her husband. They also filled some containers with just enough water to take a bath and flush the toilets.
35% of the population are without water service and about 90% are without electricity (official data from: status.pr)
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User Image el_venezolano Posted: Oct 17, 2017 5:59 AM (UTC)
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Hurricane Maria. Day 27: Toa Baja. Aida Villanueva is the person in charge of the Entidad Benéfica Ayuda al Desamparado, a non-profit organization who provide aid to the most vulnerables persons. Just like other houses and business in Toa Baja neighborhood, they got flooded by 6 feet of water resulting in the lost of all of their clothes that supposed be for the community.
If you want to donate, call Aida +1 939 452-5300
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