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Recovery efforts from Hurricane Maria continued in Puerto Rico after 3 years

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Puerto Rico – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reported Wednesday that nearly $ 7.3 billion was approved to help rebuild vital infrastructure in Puerto Rico and historic buildings still ravaged by Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Three years later, many of the buildings on the island with blue fabrics acted as roofs, leaving little protection against the elements.

Since Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico has never seemed to be taking a breather. Earlier this year, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake left thousands of people homeless and millions without power for days.

Adripina Seda Public School partially collapsed after the earthquake in Guyanica, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, January 7, 2020. A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Puerto Rico before dawn on Tuesday, killing one man, injuring others and collapsing buildings in the southern part of the island. (AP Photo / Carlos Giusti) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Twelve earthquakes were detected on Wednesday. The largest seismic activity recorded earlier was 3.0 South Guayanela. Put an epidemic in the mix plus the damage to Isaias in July and yes, there are many places that still need help.

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Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017 as a very powerful Category 4 hurricane. It made landfall on the southeast coast of Yabucoa with winds at 155 mph, just below the Category 5. Hurricane threshold. Maria is the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the island since Segundo San. Felipe, a Category 5 storm in 1928.

September 20, 2017: Hurricane Maria made landfall in southeast Puerto Rico, uprooting trees from the ground and plunging two-thirds of the island into hurricane-strong winds. (CNN)

Maria, a Category 1 hurricane, rapidly intensified into a Category 5 hurricane within 18 hours. Just before landing, Maria underwent an eye wall replacement to reach a Class 4. The storm’s eye width tripled from about 10 miles to 32 miles. Hurricane strength winds spread and more areas had hurricane strength winds.

Doppler radar destroyed in San Juan. Officials from the National Weather Service there said that, due to its altitude, the radar was hit by winds close to 160 mph when the hurricane made landfall.

NWS San Juan tweet showing Doppler radar destruction during Hurricane Maria in 2017 (NWS)

The radar was replaced after nine months.

Maria’s storm of 6-9 feet plus 38 inches of rain caused mudslides and flooded the La Plata River and an entire valley. In Toa Baja, several rescue operations were carried out as people stood on their rooftops.

Hurricane Maria left widespread damage across Puerto Rico and almost the entire island without electricity or cell service. Photo by Joe Riddell / Getty Images

Maria is one of the costliest hurricanes in US history including the islands. Nearly $ 90 billion in damage was reported, making it after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Harvey in 2017. The death toll was updated to 2,975 in Puerto Rico alone.

More than 80% of the electricity poles and transmission devices were destroyed, resulting in power cuts to 3.4 million residents. At the end of January 2018, 65% of the island was still without electricity. Although most of the power was restored, there were massive outages, including blackouts the day before Isaias. The power grid remains very fragile in the most active part of the hurricane season above normal.

Hurricane Maria left widespread damage across Puerto Rico and almost the entire island without electricity or cell service. Photo by Joe Riddell / Getty Images

FEMA reports to date, more than 4,800 projects have funding commitments. These are mainly for roads, bridges and public buildings. Federal funds will also help bolster public safety and healthcare facilities.

Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.

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