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Survivors of Hurricane Maria need assistance; power is out across 97% of Puerto Rico

Roofs ripped off houses in San Juan, Puerto Rico as Hurricane Maria slammed into the city on September 20, 2017.

Puerto Rico is desperate.

Power is out across 97% of the island, and about half of 3.4 million Puerto Ricans do not have running water after Hurricane Maria, a powerful Category 4 storm, struck on September 20.

Food is scarce, and fuel is running short.

Damaged infrastructure and red tape are limiting aid distribution.

“Puerto Rico is part of the United States, and we need to take swift action,” Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said. “This is a major disaster.”

Maria carved a destructive path through the Caribbean last week just days after Hurricane Irma plowed through the same region.

Aid organizations are trying to respond to these new challenges; some are combining relief efforts for Maria and Irma.

St. Thomas University in Miami is offering free housing and meal plans for those affected by the recent hurricanes.

Facebook has activated its safety check-in page for survivors to check in with their families.

There are several ways you can help:

Donate money: Find out more about charities aiding Hurricane Maria victims by clicking on the button below:

Give your time: Puerto Rico will also need volunteers. Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster can help match you with groups on the ground that are responding.

Drop-offs for needed supplies: A Google spreadsheet with a list of places to drop off supplies has been created.