Puerto Rico: Tropical Storm Irene Leaves Heavy Rain and Damages

Tropical storm Irene made landfall in Puerto Rico on August 21st leaving wind damage, floods, constant rain, and the evacuation of entire communities. This is the same storm, now a hurricane, that is hitting the United States east coast.

A quick search on Youtube will yield videos taken by locals during and on the aftermath of the storm.

This video by user MrJmpianoman shows the La Plata river overflowing because of rains caused by the storm:

This other video from user cynthia1982 shows another location of the same river after two days of torrential rains:

User iamjoru uploaded this video of the winds blowing in the town of Cidra:

User OneManNexus uploaded a video showing flooded residences in the major town of Ponce:


While some documented videos of the storm, others took the opportunity to comment on environmental and social issues. Indymedia[es] points out that poor black women were the most affected by the weather phenomena [es]:

En Puerto Rico la pobreza tiene cara de mujer según los datos ofrecidos por el censo. Son precisamente las mujeres las jefas de familia en las comunidades pobres del país. Las comunidades más propensas a ser afectadas por las inundaciones se encuentran en los pueblos costeros constituidos por mayor población de familias negras.

In Puerto Rico poverty has a woman's face according to data provided by the census. They are precisely the women who are head of households in the poor communities of the country. The communities most at risk to be affected by floods are on the coastal towns with a population consisting mostly of black families.

Another article in Indymedia[es] points out that the storm has exposed the inadequacies of the government to handle natural disasters, which makes the natural gas line being built right now on the island a grave risk, according to biologist Arturo Massol Deyá:

Hoy vimos que con una tormenta el país colapsa. Imagine si le sumamos los riesgos que implica el manejo de un gasoducto de 92 millas en estas circunstancias. Realmente preocupante.

Today we saw that with a storm how the country collapses. Imagine if we add to that the risks implied in managing a gas line of 92 miles under those circumstances. It is really worrying.

Of course, in the middle of all this, the online humor newspaper El Ñame [es] could not help itself and took a shot at the notoriously bad electric service after tropical storms in the country. Its headline for the day read Director of the Electric Energy Authority assures that 91% of the country has electricity (at least as long as it is during the day) [es].

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