By Sarah Carlon
Last month, Hurricane Maria swept through the Caribbean and even reached the southeastern United States. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane scale rates hurricanes from 1-5 based on sustained wind speed. Hurricane Maria was a Category 5, making it a major hurricane.
Maria was the second Category 5 hurricane of the unusually active 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, making 2017 the first season to experience two Category 5 hurricanes since 2007.
The countries that were hit sustained devastating damages. Maria has been documented as the worst natural disaster in Dominica’s recorded history, with the majority of buildings on the island completely destroyed and more than 50 people still missing. More than half of Puerto Rico still doesn’t have drinking water and only five percent of the country has access to electricity.
President Donald Trump came under fire last week for a slew of tweets regarding Puerto Rico. “…Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job,” Trump tweeted on Sept. 30.
Many point out the hypocrisy of the message behind Trump’s tweet criticizing the mayor of San Juan from one of his golf courses after going to a political rally in Alabama.
Celebrities such as Lin-Manuel Miranda publicly condemned the President’s statements on Twitter. “She has been working 24/7. You have been GOLFING. You’re going straight to hell. Fastest golf cart you ever took,” Miranda tweeted in response to Trump’s comments about the mayor of San Juan.
Relief organizations such as FEMA, the Hispanic Federation, UNICEF, the United Nations, and crowdfunding organization such as GoFundMe and JustGiving have come together to help those who were seriously affected by Maria in Puerto Rico and Dominica.
If you would like to donate to help those affected by Hurricane Maria, you can visit the following websites: hispanicfederation.org, unicefusa.org, and globalgiving.org/projects/hurricane-maria-caribbean-relief-fund/.
Sarai Prieto Avilés, a freshman at Simmons, has set up donation boxes set up in the Fens Cafe, Meyers Cafe, and Morse Hall for those who are able to donate necessities such as bottled water, batteries, toilet paper, towels and bug spray. These donation boxes will stay open until Oct. 11.