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Puerto Rico is racing off devastating earthquakes: how you can help



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A woman sits on a sofa in a camp on a baseball field in Guanica, Puerto Rico, on Saturday after a powerful earthquake hit the island.


Ricardo Arduengo / AFP via Getty Images

The new year starts badly in Puerto Rico. A series of recent earthquakes there, including a 6.4 earthquake on January 7, called the strongest to shake the island in a century, have killed one person and left thousands of homeless people without electricity and water. CNET's parent company, CBS News, reports that more than 2,000 vibrations have occurred since December 28.

The current situation

David Begnaud, head national correspondent for CBS this morning, has reported the earthquake-stricken island . On Monday, he reported from the top of a mountain in Guanica, where he spoke to people who feel unsafe and return to their homes and therefore sleep outside when aftershocks continue. A family of 11 had no electricity or water and has slept in their garden for almost a week.

How to help

  • The non-profit humanitarian organization Direct Relief works on medical care, mental aid health services and medicines such as insulin for Puerto Ricans. The January 7 earthquake damaged three large hospitals, the group says on its site. The group has provided more than 500 evacuees with medical care, medicines, mosquito nets, solar chargers and flashlights. Direct Relief has a donation page that asks donors to focus their contributions on the efforts of Puerto Rico, other crises such as the Australian forest fires or just to use it where it is most needed.
  • Families long for it back to their homes, but many buildings have been completely destroyed by the earthquakes Puerto Rican community education program Nuestra Escuela has set up a Global Giving fundraiser to help families eventually reconstruct their homes. "The ability to return a home to at least one family is, in the long run, the ability to sow hope and build resilience in the affected communities," says the group's fundraising site.
  • The Spanish non-profit federation is working with the University of Puerto Rico to provide mental health care to people affected by the earthquakes. The group will provide assessments, therapy and support and plans to provide services on the three campuses of the university, nine community organizations, and even those who cannot reach the other locations. The group also supplies solar lamps and emergency funds for local health and human service providers. Donations can be granted for mental health care or for general help and recovery.
  • The American Red Cross reported on Monday that about 170 of its emergency workers are in Puerto Rico and support government shelters, help care for the elderly and children, and door-to-door monitoring of residents and the provision of information. and emergency supplies. Donations can be made at redcross.org, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or texting the word REDCROSS & # 39; and to 90999 to make a $ 10 donation, the site reports. The group's donation page does not indicate specific Puerto Rican assistance, although donors can indicate that their money goes to disaster relief.
  • The acclaimed Spanish-American chef José Andrés is the founder of the non-profit World Central Kitchen, which responds to natural and man-made disasters worldwide that the hungry want to feed. The group has set up kitchens and food trucks in some of the worst affected areas and accepts donations.

Presidential plea

From Monday afternoon, President Donald Trump had to sign an important disaster statement to release help, CBS News reported. But Alex Amparo, the senior official of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Puerto Rico, said the agency is not waiting.

"We have our teams in the field & # 39 ;, he told Begnaud. "The enormous amount of mutual aid that is happening from the island, I am sure you saw it on the way here."

A FEMA representative told Begnaud by telephone Monday that Trump's decision to declare "was still pending."

On January 7, the president approved to a first emergency declaration, but that has a limit of $ 5 million, while Puerto Rico needs a lot more. "The governor of Puerto Rico estimates that the earthquake damage is $ 110 million," Begnaud said in a tweet.

Monday, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nydia Velázquez sent a letter to the president who urged him to act. Velázquez is the first Puerto Rican born woman to serve the congress and Ocasio-Cortez also has Puerto Rican roots.

"The people in Puerto Rico have been battered by hurricanes and earthquakes," Sanders, who is also a presidential candidate, said in a tweet that contained the letter. "They need humanitarian assistance now."

Neighbors help neighbors

Puerto Ricans are still recovering from the deadly hurricane Mary of 2017, but residents are still

"I have goosebumps watching people from different municipalities, driving in caravans on the highway that we all take to go to the southern part of the island, right now," Begnaud wrote on Saturday. "Neighbors who help neighbors are fully in effect here in Puerto Rico."

In the entertainment world

Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, who regularly used to be young spent a month with his grandparents in Puerto Rico and who has worked with many charities in the country, has asked followers for their donations and prayers.

"There are many places in the world that need your attention and prayers," Miranda said in a tweet on January 7. "P rent something for Puerto Rico today." # 19659007 We were in Puerto Rico then the earthquakes started last week.
Woke up this morning in New York with texts from family all over the island.
There are a lot of places in the world that need your attention and prayers.
Please save some today for Puerto Rico Thank you.

– Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) January 7, 2020

Although it pales in comparison to other news about earthquakes, Deadline reported Monday that the Disney Plus series the Falcon and The Winter Soldier has suspended his planned two-week Puerto Rico shoot because of the earthquakes.


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