Hurricane Fiona slammed Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic with high winds and rainfall on September 18 and 19, causing mass power outages and damage to homes and infrastructure, CNN reported. The island’s water filtration systems have been particularly hard-hit, leaving about two million people without running water.
“The damages that we are seeing are catastrophic,” Puerto Rico’s governor Pedro Pierluisi told the Associated Press.
The AP reported several hurricane-related deaths: One man in Puerto Rico was killed in a flood and one person in the Dominican Republic was killed by a tree. A third man in Puerto Rico died from burns while trying to refuel his generator during the blackout.
More than a million homes and businesses are still without power as of yesterday, according to Reuters. Last week President Biden authorized federal emergency relief through FEMA to supplement local relief and recovery efforts.
This latest hurricane landed five years to the week after Hurricane Maria, which killed 3,000 people and caused millions of dollars in damage in 2017. Nonprofits and mutual aid groups are already raising money and gathering supplies to help the region recover from this latest disaster.
Organizations Raising Funds for Hurricane Fiona Relief in Puerto Rico
The nonprofit Direct Relief works closely with Puerto Rican community health facilities and responds directly to specific requests from people on the ground. They are accepting donations for their efforts supporting health facilities, including purchasing generators, stocking emergency medicines, and deploying mobile health units.
Founded after Hurricane Maria devastated the Caribbean five years ago, Puerto Rican business leaders in the United States diaspora created PRxPR to connect funds with local networks. Their donation fund ensures that 100 percent of donations go directly to relief efforts in Puerto Rico.
The nonprofit Global Giving aims to raise $1 million in donations for Hurricane Fiona relief. The funds raised will first go toward basic supplies and shelter. Later, the funds will continue to support local partners in the Caribbean with long-term recovery projects.
The Hispanic Federation
The Hispanic Federation, based in Washington, DC, is a nonprofit that aims to empower and support the Hispanic community. The organization is collecting donations for Puerto Rican relief to support efforts that are already responding to the crisis on the ground.
Brigada Solidaria del Oeste (BSO)
This local Puerto Rican mutual aid group builds community self-management and shares information about nearby resources and mutual aid efforts. Their organization is also accepting supplies and monetary donations.