ORANGE COUNTY, Florida. – Students and staff at the University of Central Florida will take a moment of silence on Tuesday to reflect on those who died during Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico in 2017.
The Category 4 storm devastated Puerto Rico and left neighborhoods destroyed and millions of people without power for months. Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives.
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“The rebuilding process in Puerto Rico is still not complete and it’s an ongoing issue, so events like this are a wake-up call that usually when disasters happen, they slip out of people’s radar for a while. few months,” said Dr. Fernando I. Rivera. said.
Rivera is the director of the Puerto Rico Research Center at UCF. He said he didn’t expect to hear about another hurricane hitting Puerto Rico as the island continues to recover from Maria.
Puerto Rico also experienced a series of earthquakes in late 2019 and early 2020.
“Talking about the cascading effects of all these events that keep happening on the island, it seems like the island doesn’t seem to be taking a break,” Rivera said.
Rivera recalls seeing an influx of Puerto Rican students in 2018, many of whom migrated to Central Florida after Maria.
He said it is important to educate the community about recovery and rebuilding.
“I think the message is that the people of Puerto Rico have been resilient, but that can’t be a dispensation for the government not to do their homework and I think we also have to hold people accountable for the things that happened. in Puerto Rico,” Rivera said.
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