Maria is the most powerful hurricane to strike Puerto Rico in nearly a century, killing at least 16 people, wrecking the electricity grid and smashing up homes, businesses and anything in its path. The storm-battered country, with a population of 3.4 million, is still mostly without electricity 7 days after Hurricane Maria struck with ferocious winds and torrential rains. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said it had delivered more than 4.4 million meals and 6.5 million liters of water in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands since Maria ravaged the Caribbean. Desperate residents have waited hours in long lines for deliveries of diesel fuel to power generators and gasoline to fill empty automobile tanks. The US Federal Communications Commission says more than 91 per cent of cell phone sites in Puerto Rico are out of action. The widespread power outages mean huge numbers of consumers are without internet or cable service. The National Weather Service warned of further flash floods in the west of the island on Monday as thunderstorms moved in. Medical experts said they were concerned about a looming public health crisis posed by the island’s crippled water and sewage treatment system.
ZUMA Press Launches this week: zReportage: “Maria’s Toll: Puerto Rico In Crisis” Photography by Carol Guzy.