Giving Compass’ Take:
• Coral Natalie Negron Almodovar describes how after Hurricane Maria and earthquakes devastated the island territory of Puerto Rico, grassroots activists are helping ensure that recovery will be more just than before.
• How might this story inspire others to develop a giving time strategy, whether in disaster relief or other areas? Which efforts can build hurricane resilience?
• Here’s an article on how to help Puerto Rico earthquake recovery efforts.
The Earth began to shake as Tamar Hernández drove to visit her mother in Yauco, Puerto Rico, on Dec. 28, 2019. She did not feel that first tremor—she felt only the ensuing aftershocks—but she worried because her mother had an ankle injury and could not walk. Then Hernández thought, “What if something worse is coming our way?”
Her hunch was right. In the twilight hours of Jan. 7, 2020, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck the U.S. territory, with its epicenter near the city of Ponce on the south coast, a few miles from Hernández’s hometown. Buildings trembled throughout the territory, but the southwest took the brunt of the quake, with dozens of partially or completely collapsed dwellings, including a school and a church, according to a report from El Nuevo Día. The island’s primary power generation plants in the southern area of Puerto Rico failed, immediately plunging the territory into darkness.
As a survivor of Hurricane Maria’s devastation in 2017, Hernández was consumed with anxiety and desperation at the prospect of having to live through another natural disaster, and watching the government mismanage the recovery again. “My father’s Alzheimer’s progressed since the storm, and dealing with an equal emergency was unthinkable,” she said, before bursting into tears. She doubted she could maintain her economic stability after the earthquake damaged her nail business in the urban center of Yauco.
Read the full article about Puerto Rico’s natural disaster recovery by Coral Natalie Negron Almodovar at YES! Magazine.
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