hurricane maria

Hurricane Maria exposes poverty in Puerto Rico

Margarita Rodriguez held a flashlight and quizzed her 11-year-old daughter, Isel Martinez, about homework Oct. 25 outside their home in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Much of Puerto Rico remains without power and water nearly two months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island Sept. 20.

Hurricanes Irma and Maria did more than catastrophic physical damage when they struck Puerto Rico back-to-back in September, crippling the U.S. territory's power grid and infrastructure.

"The hurricanes basically blew off the top of all the poverty on the island," said Father Flavio Bravo, SJ, the superior of the island's Jesuit community and president of the Jesuit high school, Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola, in San Juan. Puerto Rico is in the Jesuit's Central and Southern Province, which is based in St. Louis.

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.

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

Rescue workers prayed before walking out from the Emergency Operation Center in Guayama, Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Maria hit Sept. 20. The hurricane made landfall in Puerto Rico, bringing "catastrophic" 155 mph winds and dangerous storm surges, after battering the Virgin Islands.

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.

Catholic agencies prepared to help in Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands

Rescue workers helped people Sept. 20 in Guayama, Puerto Rico, after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria. After battering the Virgin Islands, the hurricane made landfall in Puerto Rico, bringing “catastrophic” 155 mph winds and dangerous storm surges.

WASHINGTON — Thousands sought shelter in Puerto Rico, as Hurricane Maria, called a "monster storm" by many, hit the Caribbean island just short of a Category 5 storm Sept. 20, with winds of 155 miles per hour.

The hurricane had the potential of being the "most catastrophic hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in a century," Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said before Maria hit.

Catholic Relief Services had staff in Tortola, in the nearby British Virgin Islands, preparing to help. News reports stated the entire island was without power Sept. 20.

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