Editor’s Note: Veronica Wernicke is a freshman at UNCW majoring in Communication Studies and is a staff writer for The Seahawk. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Veronica Wernicke may be found on Twitter @itsveronica98. All suggestions and inquires may be sent via email to [email protected]
Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria; those are more than just names. They have caused mayhem and destruction to hundreds all over Atlantic, specifically the United States and the Caribbean Islands.
We are in the midst of hurricane season with Texas disastrously hit by Harvey, Irma wreaked havoc on Florida. However, we cannot forget about the smaller islands like Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Virgin Islands that have been hit repeatedly by each new hurricane.
All over the news and social media I have seen plenty of reports on the destruction caused in Texas and Florida, but hardly any reports or donation efforts relating to the Caribbean Islands. While scrolling through my Twitter feed the other day I stumbled upon one of my new favorite Tweets from the account @therealbanksy which read “KYLIE JENNER IS PREGNANT Ok now that I got your attention, the entire country of Puerto Rico has no power because of the hurricane.” While I was glad to see someone else has concern for such a serious and devastating issue, I also find it so sad that we have to use mediums like Kylie Jenner being reported pregnant to get people’s attention.
Back in August, Harvey struck not only the state of Texas but several Caribbean islands as well with the force of a category four. Next came category five Irma with category four Jose not too far behind. The most recent hurricane to hit the small islands was category five Maria which struck land on September 20 and, despite it being the fourth to hit the Caribbean, Maria showed no mercy. Since the latest storm, Puerto Rico has been left with no power or communications, essentially cutting them off with the rest of the world.
Not only are they without communication, but their food and water supplies are also rapidly dwindling thanks to the back to back hurricanes, giving Puerto Rico and its surrounding islands little time to recover from the previous storms. So meanwhile people in Florida didn’t have power for a few days or a week, Puerto Rico isn’t expected to get back power to the entire island for at least another month, according to a New York Times article. Not only are they worrying about their dwindling resources, but now they are in fear of a dam collapsing which would cause even more destruction to those living downstream. What a cruel world it can be where something as awful as hurricane after hurricane wreaks havoc on these islands, but then on top of all their pain and worry they have to add something else like a possible dam collapse to their plates.
When I found out that Cuba was on the path of these hurricanes destruction, and after when I saw the images, my heart ached because Cuba hit home for me. I have many relatives that either have or currently call Cuba home and I was filled with sadness at the thought of harm coming to them and all that they know on that beautiful island. Many of whom I haven’t met yet, and I hope that one day when I do finally visit Cuba they are safe and that the island is as beautiful as it once was before the destruction caused by these hurricanes.
Since the beginning of the hurricane season, the Caribbean islands have seen at least 50+ deaths. Irma alone took 37 lives, according to a Newsweek article. This is so heart wrenching to think about and as I scroll through article after article, each with a new image, my heart goes out to all those affected and I hope that these islands are able to find peace and quick relief.
It’s events like these that really put things into perspective for me, and while I may be worrying over a hard assignment there are those that were affected by this storm that now literally have nothing or close to it. So while you’re scrolling through your social media and or watching the news I urge you to keep the people not just in the US, but of the Caribbean islands as well in your thoughts and take a moment to either donate money or resources to these islands which are in such dire need of your help.