Hurricane Maria Highlights the Peril of Puerto Rico’s Colonial Status

Evan Berquist, a member of Cozen O'Connor's International Practice, discusses Hurricane Maria in The Hill. Officials describe the situation as “apocalyptic,” noting the disaster has set the island back “20-30 years.” Harrowing tales of survival are also emerging: of hospitals without power, 8-hour lines at gas pumps, cell communication destroyed, and rural areas still cut off from the rest of the island. Residents are likely to go without power for several months, after crippling blows to the state-owned electric utility, PREPA. Meanwhile, a lethal combination of infected floodwaters and shortages of potable water are creating an urgent public health crisis. The mayor of San Juan describes scenes of “horror” playing out across the capital, amid looting and mandatory curfews.

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Evan Berquist


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