Most of the island is still without power after a vicious blow from the Category 4 storm.
Hurricane Maria, which made landfall on Puerto Rico on September 21 as a Category 4 storm, will go down as one of the most devastating events in the island’s history.
The storm flooded cities, decimated farms, and tore down buildings along with 100 percent of the island’s power lines, leaving about 3.5 million people without power. The long, slow process of restoring electricity has begun, but it is expected to take months to get every community back online.
Meanwhile, a humanitarian disaster is beginning to unfold as food, fuel, and access to clean water run low and communications remain limited on the island. Relief agencies say they’re struggling to get supplies in. The death toll is so far at around 10, but is expected to rise in the coming days. Hospitals are damaged and running lifesaving equipment on a scant few generators. And many families are still struggling to reach their loved ones on the island.
The storm was also cruel to the US Virgin Islands, where communications are also strained. According to the Red Cross, “emergency shelters and food support will be needed by a large portion of the population in both territories for weeks.”
Here are some of the most striking images from the ground we’ve seen so far from Maria’s devastation in Puerto Rico. (This post will be updated with new images this week as they become available.)
Here’s how you can donate to the relief efforts .