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Puerto Rico still suffering 6 months after catastrophic hurricane: Here’s how to help

iStock/Thinkstock
iStock/Thinkstock

(NEW YORK) — Six months after Puerto Rico was devastated by a hurricane that knocked out power to almost the entire island, tens of thousands remain without electricity and the U.S. territory is struggling to recover.

Hurricane Maria severely damaged Puerto Rico’s electrical grid and caused an estimated $100 billion in property damages when it made landfall on Sept. 20. Most of the territory’s three million residents were left in darkness and cut them off from basic supplies.

Six months later, the island is still trying to return to normal, including with tens of thousands of people still lacking power.

Many relief efforts for Puerto Rico that began soon after the hurricane continue. Here are some ways you can help:

American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and Catholic Charities are still accepting both relief donations funds and volunteers to help areas affected by the hurricane.

United for Puerto Rico, a fund set up by Puerto Rico’s first lady Beatriz Rossello, wife of Gov. Ricardo Rossello, collects donations and distributes them to non-profits helping people affected by the disaster.

AmeriCares said that for every $1 donated it provides $20 worth of medical aid and disaster support.

Among others helping are New York governor Andrew Cuomo who recently announced that a team of experts will go to Puerto Rico to help local officials with rebuilding plans and, over the summer, students from from both the State University of New York and the City University of New York will go to the island to assist.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, is still working with communities on the island that are in desperate need of food and water, and is helping local non-profits that need supplies.

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