Marquette Wire

After Irma, Maria threatens students’ homes in Caribbean

Photo+courtesy+of+Ali+De+Luca%0ADamage+to+an+auto+shop+in+Puerto+Rico.
Photo courtesy of Ali De Luca
Damage to an auto shop in Puerto Rico.

Photo courtesy of Ali De Luca Damage to an auto shop in Puerto Rico.

Photo courtesy of Ali De Luca Damage to an auto shop in Puerto Rico.

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Hurricane Maria is due to hit Puerto Rico Tuesday. It is now a category 5 storm, which is the most powerful rating a hurricane can receive.

“Looking at the storm’s projected path at the moment is worrisome, and it doesn’t look like it will go as easy on us as Irma did,” Ali De Luca, a sophomore in the College of Communication, said.

De Luca’s home is in Puerto Rico. She watched the effects of Irma from a distance, but not without updates from her family, who are staying put.

The northeast part of Puerto Rico was issued to evacuate, but Ariana Jimenez, a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences, said her family is able to stay in their homes. Her grandmother is still without power and living off canned food.

“We’ve gone through tropical storms that resemble hurricanes because of the winds, but nothing as bad as Irma,” Jimenez said.

De Luca said her family’s electricity and water immediately went out when Irma hit land.

Photo courtesy of Ali De Luca De Luca's house after the storm.

“My dad drove over to his office in Caguas even through the bad weather because they had a generator, so there was power,” De Luca said. “He was able to have water and recharge his phone to contact us because we’re not there, and wanted to know what was going on.”

 

Halee Newby, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences and vice president of scholarship and service for Marquette’s Panhellenic Council, noticed the effects of Irma on individuals on campus and decided to take action into her own hands.

Newby said her first question was if Panhellenic Council would have enough money to do the fundraiser. She asked friends in MARDI GRAS and Marquette University Student Government if they would be willing to co-sponsor.

MARDI GRAS, MUSG and the Panhellenic Association co-sponsored the fundraiser, and Studio 013 Refugees performed an improv show for all those who attended.

“People are going to be feeling the effects of Harvey and Irma for years to come. Donating to hurricane relief is what we need to do right now,” Newby said.

The hurricane relief fundraiser raised almost $1,700 that was donated to the organization Youth Rebuilding New Orleans. The fundraiser was intended to help with Hurricane Harvey relief, but the organization ended up donating to all areas affected by the recent hurricanes.

“As Marquette students, we are here because we are dedicated to service, and we are good individuals and we can still do our part here in Milwaukee,” Newby said.

Newby plans to hold a series of fundraisers throughout the semester. In October, she hopes to hold a clothing drive to send clothing down to Puerto Rico.

As Puerto Rico is still recovering from Irma, tropical storm Maria is approaching and is expected to turn into a hurricane and hit the island again.

“Just like for Irma, they are buying water and canned food just in case,” Jimenez said. “They are just worried and stressed that another possible hurricane is threatening to pass through the island so soon.”

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