Washington (Agenzia Fides) - Hurricane Irma, category 5, hits the US territory of Puerto Rico. The island has been watching its economy decline for years, has $74 billion in debt and suffers from cuts to emergency services.
Eric LeCompte, executive director of the Jubilee USA Religious Development Network, sent to Fides the following statement: "We are concerned with how the debt crisis affects Puerto Rico's ability to deal with the impacts of Hurricane Irma. Before Hurricane Irma, we saw cuts to social and emergency services. We are praying for all in the path of this hurricane".
From the latest news we learn that a large part of Puerto Rico is without power due to the gusts of wind and heavy rainfall that are hitting the area. There are more than 50,000 homes without water and hospitals continue to function only through emergency generators.
The island's population remembers that since 1928 there has been no such devastating catastrophic phenomenon: in the past hurricane San Felipe caused 2,700 deaths; in 1989 hurricane Hugo killed dozens of people but Irma's force does not tend to diminish. The biggest damages have been registered in Barbuda, where 90% of houses have been destroyed. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 07/09/2017)