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Articles on Puerto Rico

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Hurricane Fiona drenched places like Salinas across Puerto Rico in September 2022. AP Photo/Alejandro Granadillo

More than 60% of Puerto Ricans seeking FEMA aid after Hurricane Maria had their applications denied – will the agency approve more this time?

Within two weeks of Hurricane Fiona, FEMA had accepted most Puerto Rican housing aid applications. Nearly all those early approvals cover only $700 in assistance and won’t pay the tab for rebuilding.
After the death of Queen Elizabeth, questions arise about whose life gets mourned and who does not. Here is the Queen with the Guards of Honour in Nigeria, Dec. 3, 2003, for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

About the Queen and the Crown’s crimes (or how to talk about the unmourned) — Podcast

In the middle of the tremendous outpouring of love and grief for the Queen and the monarchy she represented, not everyone wants to take a moment of silence. And there are a lot of reasons why.
A worker cuts an electricity pole downed by Hurricane Fiona in Cayey, Puerto Rico, on Sept. 18, 2022. AP Photo/Stephanie Roja

Puerto Rico’s vulnerability to hurricanes is magnified by weak government and bureaucratic roadblocks

Hurricane Fiona will set back efforts to restore Puerto Rico that date back five years to Hurricane Maria. Two scholars explain how the island’s weak institutions worsen the impacts of disasters.
Tourism-driven development is threatening one of Puerto Rico’s greatest draws: its rural coastlines. R9 Studios FL/Flickr

Coastal gentrification in Puerto Rico is displacing people and damaging mangroves and wetlands

Puerto Rico’s tourism industry is booming as nations lift COVID-19 travel restrictions, but development is displacing people who have lived along its coastlines for years.
A Puerto Rican man passes buildings for lease in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on May 16, 2017. Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

Puerto Rico has a plan to recover from bankruptcy — but the deal won’t ease people’s daily struggles

Puerto Rico has reached an agreement to partially settle its historic bankruptcy crisis. But public cuts to education and health care are unlikely to ease, creating ongoing challenges for Puerto Ricans
A banner reads “Fuera Luma” (Luma out), opposing the company managing Puerto Rico’s electric grid, at a May Day protest in San Juan on May 1, 2021. Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images

Puerto Rico has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build a clean energy grid – but FEMA plans to spend $9.4 billion on fossil fuel infrastructure instead

Four years after Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico, federal money to rebuild its electricity system is finally about to flow. But it may not deliver what islanders want.
Punta Ventana, a popular tourist attraction near Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, before and after the Jan. 6 earthquake. AFP/Getty/Wikipedia

Puerto Rico earthquakes imperil island’s indigenous heritage

Puerto Rico was once home to about 110,000 Taínos, an indigenous people decimated by the Spanish conquest. Their ancient homeland was located in the area hit hard by recent earthquakes.
The Immaculate Conception Catholic Church lies in ruins after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, Jan. 7, 2020. AP Photo/Carlos Giusti

Earthquake forecast for Puerto Rico: Dozens more large aftershocks are likely

Puerto Rico’s January earthquakes came after many foreshocks and have been followed by numerous aftershocks. Scientists are studying these sequences to improve earthquake forecasting.
Extreme flooding during Hurricane Maria in 2017 was hazardous for the Puerto Rican people. But a new study finds that it helped native fish populations rebound after years of drought. AP Photo/Alvin Baez

Caribbean fish love catastrophic hurricanes

Big storms with lots of flooding, like hurricanes Dorian and Maria, actually restore the Caribbean’s delicate balance between native and nonnative fish species, new research finds.
People wave Puerto Rican flags as they attend a rally to celebrate the resignation of Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló in San Juan, Puerto Rico on July 25. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Puerto Ricans unite against Rosselló – and more than a decade of cultural trauma

Rosselló’s corruption is just the latest in a string of disasters for Puerto Ricans – but it also created an opportunity for a stressed community to come together.
Some Puerto Ricans had to restore downed power lines themselves after Hurricane Maria. Alvin Baez/Reuters

Puerto Rico has not recovered from Hurricane Maria

It’s been one year since a Category 4 storm turned Puerto Rico into a disaster zone. Today, nearly every pillar of society — including the economy, health care and schools — remains hobbled.

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