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Pedro Deschamps helps workers hired by FEMA install a temporary awning roof at his house, which suffered damage during Hurricane Maria, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Nov. 15, 2017 (AP photo by Carlos Giusti).

Another Hurricane Season Opens, but Caribbean Reconstruction Has Only Begun

Friday, June 15, 2018

As the Caribbean prepares to face another hurricane season, its islands are still confronting the toll of last year’s disasters. Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which tore through the Caribbean last September, led to many deaths, possibly up to 5,000 in Puerto Rico alone, and caused upwards of $100 billion in damage. In the typical way of natural disasters, many islands were spared, while others nearby were devastated.

Although much of the attention has focused on the plight of Puerto Rico, other severely affected islands include Anguilla, Turks and Caicos, the British Virgin Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Martin and St. Barts. Since last September, reconstruction efforts across the Caribbean have proceeded unevenly, reflecting differences in islands’ political status and systems, as well as the amount of aid available, which is determined in part by the fact that many islands retain linkages to their colonial past. ...

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