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News > Latin America

Puerto Rico: Children Suffering Most in Aftermath of Maria

  • People filling water jugs in Canovanas, Puerto Rico, Sept 26, 2017.

    People filling water jugs in Canovanas, Puerto Rico, Sept 26, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 October 2017
Opinion

After 17 days, over 85 percent of Puerto Ricans still have no electricity and drinking water is difficult to find.

Some 700,000 children are suffering from the effects of Maria in Puerto Rico after the hurricane devastated the island on Sept. 20, according to Save the Children.

RELATED:
Several Dead in Puerto Rico and Total Loss of Power As Hurricane Maria Moves On

"We know from decades of experience that children are the most affected in emergencies and disasters, and their needs often go awry," Casey Harrity, the team leader at Save the Children in Puerto Rico, said in a statement.

Harrity also stated that nearly 500 public schools were damaged as a result of Hurricane Maria. The statement concluded with a plan to identify damages within public schools and children’s centers on the island.

Save the Children has reported that there are "children's spaces" being constructed inside of shelters that will give children a sense of normalcy while they wait to return to school.

After 17 days, over 85 percent of Puerto Ricans still have no electricity and drinking water is difficult to find.

After the Category 5 hurricane made a direct hit on Puerto Rico and ravaged the island for over 30 hours, U.S. aid has been slow in developing.

RELATED:
FEMA Removes Puerto Rico Stats on Drinking Water and Electricity Access

U.S. President Donald Trump has been criticized for his meager federal response to Hurricane Maria, from failing to mention the disaster for several days to throwing paper towels at residents on a short visit to the Caribbean island, which is a colony of the United States.

Preemptive disaster relief strategies such as resource pre-positioning proved to be insufficient as the catastrophic event destroyed much of Puerto Rico’s infrastructure.

At present, 36 deaths have been reported directly resulting from Hurricane Maria and 8,349 refugees have been reported.

According to the NGO, nearly 60 percent of children in Puerto Rico live below the poverty line.

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