Wednesday, September 24, 2008

After the Record Rainfall...

... comes the massive clean-up. Most of Puerto Rico woke up to sunshine today, after several days of cloudy skies and heavy downpours. I have never seen so much rain here, and I don't think many people were expecting to see so much of it either. There was no warning of massive rainfall and there were no evacuations prior to the arrival of this tropical storm. According to the local papers, Puerto Rico got hit with 26 inches of rain in 24 hours this past Sunday. This is the worst rainfall in 100 years in Puerto Rican history. Sadly, four people died and there are thousands of flooded homes. The hardest hit areas were the Southern areas, such as Patillas, Guayama and Yabucoa. The image on the left was taken in Cabo Rojo, in the Southwestern part of Puerto Rico.

San Juan was largely spared of the awful wreckage which can be seen throughout many parts of the island. As I flipped through the papers, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the terrible images. The governor is asking for help from the Federal government, and has allotted $50 million in emergency funds for the affected zones. He has also declared today a tax-free (IVU) day in order to "help those affected." Isn't this just the strangest way to help the victims of a flood? Well, it is an election year. Perhaps, a more effective way to help the general public is for the government to implement a better system of informing and evacuating the areas which will most likely be affected, as well as the flaws in the infraestructure and structural system in the island. In general, flooding in Puerto Rico is actually quite common whenever there's a heavy downpour. There is obviously a serious problem in the planification in which some residential areas, roads and highways were constructed. I am no expert in these matters but, evidently, the sewage system throughout many parts of Puerto Rico also needs to be examined.

(Photo Credits: Tony Zayas/El Nuevo Día, Heriberto Castro/Primera Hora, respectively)

1 comment:

Raúl said...

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