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Issue No:78
  • :January
  • :2018

Samudra Report No.78, January 2018

Puerto Rico / HURRICANE MARÍA

Mortal Embrace

Conflicting forces of nature, alongside the ecological intervention of traditional fishermen, helped mitigate the destruction wrought in Puerto Rico by Hurricane María


This article is byMaría Suárez Toro (escuelabuceocaribesur@gmail.com), journalist, social communicator, scuba diver and fisherwoman, and also co-founder and co-ordinator of Centro Comunitario de Buceo Embajadores y Embajadoras del Mar, Costa Rica


The impact of the destructive winds of Hurricane María along the northern coasts of Puerto Rico in late September 2017—not long after Hurricane Irma had swept by—was ugly, immense and immediate. Docks, shorelines and boats were destroyed soon after the hurricane made landfall on 20 September with wind speeds reaching 150 km per hour. Even three months after the hurricane subsided, the lack of electricity in 98 per cent of the country has left fisherfolk without ice to preserve the fish they sell. Many fishermen lost their boats, their nasas (fishing traps) and other gear. With the municipality authorities proving ineffectual in clearing the debris left behind by the hurricane, fishermen have been unable to fish from shore.

In Villa Pesquera in Catanho, the immediate damages amounted to US$45,000 to...

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