AMERICA/PORTO RICO - Trauma, psychological and emotional damage to hurricane victims who are afraid of the recovery

Thursday, 16 November 2017 natural disasters   environment   criminality   childhood   human rights   education  

San Juan (Agenzia Fides) - Even after 47 days since the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which in September devastated the Country, emergency has not ended yet (see Fides 2/10/2017). The most serious problem continues to be the lack of electricity on most of the island after the strong winds tore off net poles and trees fell on the cables. As a result, various services such as the supply of water, sewage systems and the media are being affected. It is estimated that at least 150,000 people have left the island so far to settle elsewhere in the United States.
Among the many initiatives that have been taken so far, the Crime Victim Support Center (Cavic) is committed to providing multidisciplinary services to help overcome the emotional damage that citizens suffer due to criminal acts and violence.
The non-profit organization intervened shortly after a week following the passage of the atmospheric phenomenon and has since continued to contribute to helping the victims. The Center, among other things, regularly provides social work services, psychotherapy, counseling, guidance, legal assistance.
According to a note sent to Fides, Cavic also started a collaboration with the Red de Albergues in Puerto Rico and started visits and meetings in the hogares where there are minors who have been ill-treated. Among these, the Hogar Casa Cuna, is considered the first in Puerto Rico for abused children, who arrived there on their own and voluntarily.
"An experience like this, caused by an atmospheric event, can exacerbate the symptoms of post traumatic stress", Cavic said.
"Cavic has also started educational and recreational activities as well as a workshop focused on handling anxiety in both communities and homes. So far, 400 cases have been assisted, mainly due to violence".
However, just over a month or so there is some good news. 98 public schools have re-opened, about 9% of the total number on the island, although school days have been reduced by half and students need to bring bottles of water and mosquito repellent from home. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 16/11/2017)