This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
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.
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees