I admit its kinda late to write this considering the storm happened over a month ago but this was the right moment to post this since I finally uploaded the pics I took online. Anyway, as you all might have known, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico on September 20th. At first it looked like it was gonna be just another storm but then the intensity increased to category 4 and later to 5 and that was when things got ugly. We still had things in storage from Hurricane Irma before that so we thought we'd be fine but then the storm struck. I woke up that day hearing the strong winds slam into the windows, but when I looked outside it looked really ugly, the trees and power lines were struggling to stay standing, then I saw the roof top of one of my neighbors fall off due to the strong winds.
And then came the ugliest part, the winds near the eye wall were so strong that all of a sudden the trees in my house fell, including tall trees and all the palm trees in my backyard and nearby. It was really scary since even the house started shaking due to the wind's pressure, and that point we had lost all communication with the outside world since the phone lines broke down. Not to mention, one of the windows in my room was broken and we had to fix it by putting some steel bars to hold it down, my room was starting to flood also but I took out my personal belongings before the storm so they're ok. On the next day, we got to see all of the destruction, man it was horrible, the entire mountain near my house was without trees, well more like everywhere really, every single tree fell, it was that bad, it was a true catastrophe. The road was blocked for like a day until we helped clear it out of the way, but picking up all the fallen branches was a nightmare since they were everywhere, there's still some left since they were so many.
When I first traveled in car outside our home, the destruction was everywhere and there were lines in gas stations, bakeries, you name it. A lot of places were closed so it was hard to get any basic goods. The lines in gas stations were awful, at one point we had to stand in line for 8 hours to get gas, it was that bad. In some places there's still lines for food and gas but the lines are not as bad. There were riots and looting in some places, and even murders just to get food to the point where the government had to declare a curfew at night since robberies were everywhere. Getting food was hard and we had to do long lines to get some, the restrictions felt like if I were living in a communist country, and it really felt that way. The water service was down for two weeks and getting water to drink was hard since you know, drinking tap water in Puerto Rico is not safe like it is in the US or Canada. We had to boil tap water in order to drink it, and it tasted awful, but then like a week later we managed to get donations from the municipal government and a box from Unicef that had arrived in my dad's workplace, they included water bottles and some basic stuff for eating and cooking and with that we managed to survive for all this time. Like a week after I started college again since my dad passed near my university and told me he saw some students there, but the place didn't have power and a lot of students quit because of the difficulties in transportation, to this day we're still struggling with the power in college so doing work has not been easy.
Things are still hard let me tell you, the power still hasn't come back and transportation is still hard to find. But since I live in the San Juan metro I have it better than a lot of people on other parts of Puerto Rico. Some parts in the center of the island were completely destroyed since there's mostly poorer areas there and people are now suffering since a lot of roads were ravaged in those areas, plus its hard for the government and rescue teams to reach there since they're so remote. Our government had even contracted some American companies to help restore the power but then they canceled the contract since there were gonna have high salaries and a lot of people saw that as unfair since a lot people are still suffering and lost everything. Still, with that cancellation it will take longer for the power to come back. 😕 Hopefully our local power company does something right, even if the workers are at odds with our government due to their policies. And also hopefully they will work together and bring all the outside help they promised because this is not looking good and a lot of people are leaving. I swear they risk a revolution if this is not fixed soon since a lot of workers are not being payed enough and a lot of people are not currently working.
But anyway, my wish is that things get better and I finally get power at home, hearing the power plant everyday is getting on my nerves. At least now I have some internet connection in the backyard which means things are getting better right? we'll see.
Here's some pics I took: