Puerto Rico

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In Puerto Rico, a 'Humanitarian Emergency'

Hurricane Maria has knocked out power that may not be back for six months

(Newser) - Hurricane Maria moved toward the Turks and Caicos islands early Friday as a weakened but still extremely dangerous Category 3 hurricane. The storm has left a trail of devastation behind it and caused at least 32 deaths on Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico, where the entire electrical grid was knocked... More »

Officials: Puerto Rico 'Destroyed' by Hurricane

Entire island is under a flash flood warning

(Newser) - "Once we're able to go outside, we're going to find our island destroyed," Puerto Rico Emergency Management Director Abner Gomez Cortes warned after Hurricane Maria lashed the island Wednesday, destroying hundreds of homes and turning roadways into rivers. The National Weather Service has issued a flash... More »

Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria: 'Total Devastation'

Puerto Rico could be without electricity for up to 6 months

(Newser) - Puerto Rico could be without electricity for four to six months after the island was ravaged by Hurricane Maria on Wednesday, the mayor of San Juan tells NBC News . A spokesperson for the governor's office who describes the situation as "total devastation" adds to CNN : "We are... More »

Hurricane Maria Plows Into Puerto Rico

Storm makes landfall as a Category 4, one of the strongest in living memory for the island

(Newser) - Puerto Rico is braced for what is expected to be its fiercest storm in almost a century. Hurricane Maria made landfall Wednesday morning near the town of Yabucoa as an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 hurricane packing winds of around 155mph, according to the National Hurricane Center , per USA Today ... More »

Hurricane Maria Leaves 'Mind-Boggling' Devastation

Storm now threatens Puerto Rico

(Newser) - Hurricane Maria slammed into Dominica as a Category 5 storm Monday night, causing what the Caribbean nation's prime minister calls "mind-boggling" damage. In a Facebook post , Roosevelt Skerrit said the storm had left "widespread devastation" and torn the roofs off many homes, including his own. "My... More »

Irma Leaves 'Heart-Wrenching' Devastation in Caribbean

In Puerto Rico, the power could be out for 6 months

(Newser) - Hurricane Irma continued to sweep through the Caribbean with devastating force early Thursday, knocking out power to an estimated 1 million people in Puerto Rico. The storm didn't make landfall on the island, but the National Hurricane Center says it could still get up to 20 inches of rain,... More »

Delta Flight Escapes Between Bands of Hurricane Irma

They raced the storm and won

(Newser) - A Delta Air Lines flight managed to make it from New York to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and back Wednesday by navigating through Hurricane Irma . The flight took off from JFK International Airport at 8:12am, heading toward the rapidly approaching Category 5 storm, reports USA Today . After making a... More »

Hurricane Irma Leaves Path of Destruction in Caribbean

At least 1 death reported

(Newser) - More than 600,000 people are without power and nearly 50,000 without water on Puerto Rico as Hurricane Irma and its 185mph winds begin to batter the island, the AP reports. Fourteen hospitals are using generators after losing power, and trees and lights posts are strewn across some roads.... More »

Monstrous Irma Batters Caribbean Islands

Devastating storm made landfall early Wednesday

(Newser) - Hurricane Irma slammed into islands in the northeast Caribbean with devastating force early Wednesday, damaging buildings and sending debris flying with winds estimated at 185mph. The National Weather Service says the eye of Irma, a Category 5 storm and the strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded, passed over the island of... More »

In Referendum, 97% Support Making Puerto Rico 51st State

But almost 80% didn't bother voting

(Newser) - Going by votes cast, statehood was the overwhelming winner in a referendum Puerto Rico held Sunday. But going by the actions of most Puerto Ricans, staying home or going to the beach was the runaway winner. The island, a US territory since 1898, held a non-binding referendum on statehood Sunday,... More »

Puerto Rico's Unprecedented Move to Ease $123B Debt

Step toward bankruptcy would dwarf Detroit's restructuring

(Newser) - Puerto Rico has taken a big step toward a bankruptcy that would be unprecedented in two ways: It would be the first by an American state or territory, and it would be by far the biggest of its kind, dwarfing Detroit's $18 billion restructuring in 2013. Puerto Rico's... More »

Man Sentenced for Biting Chihuahua Puppy's Head Off

Puerto Rico man gets 7 years

(Newser) - Jose Arroyo is going to spend the next seven years in prison and he will not be a popular man if fellow inmates discover what he is in for: biting the head off a chihuahua puppy. The 40-year-old Puerto Rico man was sentenced this week after pleading guilty to domestic... More »

Puerto Rico to Vote on Becoming 51st State

'Colonialism is not an option' in June referendum

(Newser) - Puerto Ricans are getting another shot at voting on statehood after the island's governor on Friday approved a non-binding referendum to determine the US territory's political future. The referendum will be held on June 11 and gives voters two options: statehood or independence/free association. If a majority chooses... More »

Bill Seeks to Make Puerto Rico 51st State by 2025

'We are treated as second-class American citizens': prominent pol

(Newser) - Puerto Rico's new rep to the US Congress filed a bill Wednesday that would turn the island into the 51st US state by 2025. The bill is the first step in a renewed quest for statehood that's to include a referendum letting Puerto Rico voters choose between independence... More »

Election Could Help Give America Its 51st State

Leading Puerto Rico candidate supports statehood

(Newser) - If Ricardo Rossello has things his way, this is going to be one of the last elections where there are a mere 50 American states voting. The New Progressive Party candidate has a big lead in the race to become the island's next governor, and he has come out... More »

Thousands of Endangered Tadpoles Fly to Puerto Rico

Crested toad is on the comeback trail

(Newser) - More than 4,000 wiggling tadpoles conceived via wine fridges in California and then packed in a passenger plane headed to Puerto Rico this week as part of a program to re-establish a technicolor native toad once thought extinct. Since 2014, the Oakland Zoo has taken part in a campaign... More »

Puerto Rico Emerges From Island-Wide Blackout

Millions are in darkness for 2nd night

(Newser) - Cheers erupted as lights slowly began to flicker on across Puerto Rico overnight as the US territory struggled to emerge from an island-wide blackout following a fire at a power plant that caused the aging utility grid to fail. More than 390,000 of 1.5 million homes and businesses... More »

500 Rescued From Burning Cruise Ship

Fire erupted a mile away from Puerto Rico

(Newser) - More than 500 passengers and crew were evacuated from a burning ship about a mile off Puerto Rico's north coast on Wednesday, and many required medical care, though there were no reported fatalities or life-threatening injuries. The fire, which erupted in the engine room, burned as hundreds slid down... More »

Banker's Unsolved Murder Gets Much Stranger

Bloomberg looks into unsolved case of Maurice Spagnoletti

(Newser) - In 2011, a New Jersey transplant named Maurice Spagnoletti was gunned down in Puerto Rico while driving home from work. The murder, which remains unsolved, made international headlines given Spagnoletti's work: He was a 57-year-old bank executive who was trying to turn around the failing Doral Bank in San... More »

Congress Passes Puerto Rico Rescue Bill at Last Minute

The bill to relieve the debt-ridden territory heads to Obama for signing

(Newser) - Congress delivered relief to debt-stricken Puerto Rico on Wednesday, sending President Obama a last-minute financial rescue package to help the US territory of 3.5 million Americans, the AP reports. The Senate passed the bill on a bipartisan 68-30 vote, three weeks after the House overwhelmingly backed the measure. The... More »

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