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A week after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico begs for help

Displaced people filled containers with water Sept. 26 in Canovanas, Puerto Rico, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Much of Puerto Rico remains without communication and electricity and in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

WASHINGTON — More than a week after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, much of the island remained without communication and in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

News programs tell of long lines of travelers, who have little food or water, and are desperate to get off the island at the San Juan airport to no avail.

But the scene of destruction outside the airport is even more stark: An island whose dense tropical landscape, along with its infrastructure, towns and cities, has been greatly stripped by winds that reached 155 mph.

Agencies organize efforts for relief in Puerto Rico

The Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province in St. Louis is accepting financial contributions to help two Jesuit parish and school communities in Puerto Rico hit hard by Hurricane Maria.

"Our school and parish communities need help to recover," a post on the province website reported. "Colegio San Ignacio, our secondary school in San Juan, received significant damage. We anticipate our families will have significant needs."

The Jesuits, faculty and staff are safe but communication from the island remained limited.

With prayer, Catholics in Puerto Rico deal with Hurricane Maria’s wrath

Karlian Mercado, 7, and her father, Carlos Flores, stood atop what remains of their home Sept. 24 in Hayales de Coamo, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico experienced widespread damage after Hurricane Maria passed through.

WASHINGTON — Authorities say it may take months for electricity to fully return to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria pummeled the island and its infrastructure as it made landfall Sept. 20.

When the hurricane hit the island with winds of up to 155 miles per hour, it tore out cables, roofs from homes and buildings, uprooted palm trees and even bent a cross anchored to a cement post at the entrance of a Jesuit school.

Editorial | Rally around the forgotten Americans of Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, wiping out power and communication infrastructure, damaging homes and farms.

The island of Puerto Rico, home to 3.4 million citizens of the United States, remains almost entirely without electricity and telecommunications and is coping with severe shortages of food and drinkable water almost a week after being hit by Hurricane Maria. But that communications blackout is no excuse for the island's virtual absence from news coverage over the past weekend, when mainland newspapers and television were more focused on football and the latest tweets by President Donald Trump.

Church leaders offer prayers, Mexicans pitch in after earthquake

Rescuers searched for survivors in the debris of collapsed buildings Sept. 20 in Mexico City. The magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit Sept. 19 to the southeast of the city, killing hundreds.

MEXICO CITY — Mexican Church leaders offered prayers and urged generosity after an earthquake struck the national capital and its environs, claiming more than 240 lives — including at least 20 children trapped in a collapsed school.

The magnitude 7.1 earthquake Sept. 19 added to the misery of Mexicans who suffered a magnitude 8.1 earthquake 12 days earlier. That quake left nearly 100 dead in the country's southern states and left thousands more homeless.

Editorial | Be a hero

Jim McIngvale, known as "Mattress Mack," opened up his two Gallery Furniture stores in Houston for people displaced by the effects of Hurricane Harvey.

He was housing 400 people by Aug. 28, according to media reports, providing breakfast, lunch and dinner for them.

Why? "I was raised as a Catholic. I continued my Catholic faith throughout my life, trying to do the right thing and hopefully, you do the right thing and help people along the way," he told San Antonio TV station KENS.

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