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Trauma on Trauma: A Pandemic and Back to Back Natural Disasters Leave Puerto Ricans Devastated
Starting in late December, a series of earthquakes devastated southern Puerto Rico, forcing thousands to take shelter on the streets, in their cars and in government tents as their homes were destroyed. The situation left people on the island traumatized. At the time, many Puerto Ricans were still trying to recover from the shock of Hurricane Maria, a category five hurricane in September 2017.
When Maria hit, the island was already in the midst of an economic crisis, drowned in $70 billion of public debt. On top of that, the long history of living as a U.S. colony has worsened the natural disasters’ psychological impact. One disaster after another, along with the lack of mental health facilities, has led people to depression, committing suicide or drugs, according to leaders from various non-profit organizations who stepped up to help Puerto Ricans in lieu of adequate government measures…
Japan rescuers battle to reach thousands trapped by floods
Japanese emergency services and troops scrambled Thursday to reach people cut off by catastrophic flooding and landslides that have killed dozens and caused widespread damage, with more torrential rain forecast. In the scenic tourist area of Gifu in central Japan, officials said landslides and floodwater had left just nearly 1,000 households stranded — or around 2,300 people.
But in the hardest-hit region of Kumamoto, attention was turning to clean-up operations after some of the heaviest rain for years. A Kumamoto official told AFP: “The number of people stranded is zero. We can now reach all the areas which had been isolated.”
An AFP reporter in the area saw part of a road collapsed into a river, and scenes of devastation in flood-affected houses…