After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Ricans become key voting bloc in Florida

Survivor Stories: Teachers in Puerto Rico reflect on Hurricane Maria 1 year later

Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico just as the 2017 school year was beginning. A year later, two teachers recall their struggle to rebuild their schools and communities amid the devastation…


Indonesia quake death toll surpasses 2000

Rescuers stand beside a toppled mosque as recovery efforts continue in the earthquake-hit Balaroa neighborhood in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Credit: AP

The death toll from a 7.4 magnitude earthquake that struck Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province last month has reached 2113 and there’s still more than 1300 people missing. Up to 1703 of the fatalities were from the provincial capital Palu, with the rest from neighbouring districts Donggala, Sigi, Parigo Moutong and Pasangkayu, National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Nugroho said on Sunday.

As many as 223,751 people have been displaced and 4612 people are injured after the September 28 quake, which triggered a tsunami and soil liquefaction that sucked thousands of houses into the saturated ground.

“A number of public facilities such as electricity and communication networks have been restored and are almost 100 per cent back to normal,” Nugroho said, adding that trading at petrol stations and in markets and the banking sector have also resumed.

He added that even though the search efforts to look for casualties were officially stopped on October 12, members of search and rescue parties clearing out the rubble of damaged properties continue to find bodies under the ruins…


After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Ricans become key voting bloc in Florida

A little over a year after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, forcing tens of thousands to flee the island for the U.S. mainland, the refugees have emerged as a key voting bloc in one of the country’s biggest battleground states.

Like hundreds of thousands before them, many of the displaced Puerto Ricans moved to Florida, concentrating primarily in Central Florida and – through their sheer numbers – have quickly reshaped the state’s political landscape.

There were about 1.2 million Puerto Ricans in the Sunshine State before Maria hit, including more than 400,000 in Central Florida, and estimates of newcomers in the months following the storm range from 50,000 to 200,000.

The governor’s mansion, a Senate seat and at least four congressional seats are up for grabs in Florida and candidates have been working diligently to court Puerto Ricans, who as American citizens are eligible to vote…

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