More than 73 000 Puerto Ricans flee to Florida after Hurricane Maria

2017-10-26 11:32
In Puerto Rico, a resident tries to stay calm after loosing a portion of her roof to the fury of Hurricane Maria. (Carlos Giusti, AP)

In Puerto Rico, a resident tries to stay calm after loosing a portion of her roof to the fury of Hurricane Maria. (Carlos Giusti, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Miami - More than 73 000 people have fled emergency conditions at home to Florida since Hurricane Maria devastated the US territory in the Caribbean.

The island of about 3.4 million was ravaged by the megastorm and a majority are still without electricity, while others in isolated areas are continue to await services and help.

"As of October 3, 2017, more than 73 000 individuals arrived in Florida from Puerto Rico through Miami International Airport, Orlando International Airport and the Everglades Port," a statement from the office of Governor Rick Scott said.

The hurricane hit the island September 20, but Puerto Rican arrivals in Florida are being recorded from October 3, a spokesperson for Scott told AFP.

That is because Florida was declared on that date to be in a state of emergency, to be able to respond to the expected migration impact.

Thanks to the emergency declaration, the state opened disaster relief centres at two airports and the port, which have since served 15 000 people.

Schools, universities

In the relief centres, hurricane migrants from Puerto Rico can access help provided by the federal emergency management agency (FEMA), as well as state agencies for children and families, transportation, health as well as Red Cross services.

Puerto Rico is an American territory and Puerto Ricans have US citizenship.

In his statement, the governor also reported that Florida schools have registered more than 3 500 students displaced from Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, also affected by the hurricane.

In addition, universities eliminated enrolment costs.

The situation on the island is still precarious. As of Wednesday, 75% of customers were still without electricity and clean water is still scarce in many areas.

The island's financial crisis had already driven a huge number of Puerto Ricans off the island.

Of the five million Puerto Ricans living in the continental United States, one million reside in Florida.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

News24 (@News24) | Twitter

The latest Tweets from News24 (@News24). News24 is Southern Africa and Africa's premier online news resource reaching over 2.3 million local users each month. South Africa

Read more on:    us  |  hurricanes  |  hurricane maria

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.