Here’s the Devastation Maria Inflicted on Vieques and its Airport

Sep 28, 2017

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Last week, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and completely devastated the US territory. Many are still without power, food and water are scarce and much of the island’s infrastructure and housing has been damaged or destroyed.

One of the hardest hit areas is Vieques, an island just seven miles off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico. Reports from CNN reveal that the island has been completely destroyed and is almost totally cut off from the world. CNN’s Bill Weir traveled to the Vieques and filed a report Thursday morning detailing what residents of the island are enduring.

Vieques is almost in ruins, food and water are running low and crowds of people line up in the main square to use a handful of satellite phones to contact friends and family.

Weir had a bit of a harrowing journey to get to the island. He flew a small Cessna single engine prop from San Juan (SJU) to Vieques (VQS) on Wednesday. The airports have no working radar so every aircraft is flying by plain old eyesight. Dust from Africa’s Sahara desert clouded the skies, complicating the flight.

Weir added a lighter moment to the day when he spotted an old Japanese fighter in a hangar in San Juan.

Upon arrival, the CNN correspondent shared images of the airport’s runway which was littered with destroyed planes. While some of the aircraft sat in ditches, others were literally ripped apart by the storm.

After leaving the airport Weir toured the island — only to find more destruction, including catamarans flipped on their backs.

Communication to the outside world is almost nonexistent.

There’s a Marriott property on the island, The W Vieques, which has been closed since September 22. Weir’s report said it was severely damaged.

Watch Weir’s full report here:

You can donate to the recovery efforts by clicking here and join TPG  and the CEO of TPG’s soon-to-be parent company Red Ventures, Ric Elias. Elias, who grew up in Puerto Rico himself, will match all donations up to $5 million.

Featured image by Bill Weir/Twitter.

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