Dark Days and Long Nights Descend on Puerto Rico
Hurricane Maria tore across Puerto Rico and destroyed the entire electrical grid and most cell services, leaving the island in the dark.
Buildings are completely dark during a total blackout after Hurricane Maria made landfall Sept. 20, 2017 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Thousands of people have sought refuge in shelters, and electricity and phone lines have been severely affected.
Hurricane Maria tore up Puerto Rico early Sept. 20 as a Category 4 storm with winds of 155 mph. At least 16 people were killed, and nearly all 3.4 million people on the island were left without power and most without water.
Maria was the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in nearly 100 years. There still is no exact tally of the cost and full extent of the damage, but Gov. Ricardo Rossello says it will bring a complete halt to the economy for at least a month.
A woman prepares food during nightfall outside her house, destroyed by Hurricane Maria, in Toa Altaa on Sept. 25.
People use their cell phones at night in one of the few places with cell signal access in San Juan, on Sept. 25, where a 7 p.m. - 6 a.m. curfew was imposed following the impact of Hurricane Maria on the island.
A man bathes as others collect water from a pipe in the mountains of Naranjito on Sept. 27. The relief effort has so far been concentrated largely in San Juan, and many outside the capital say they've received little or no help.
Raphael and Viviana Urena walk down a residential street illuminated by the headlights of a car in San Juan on Sept. 27.
Clients of Popular Bank of Puerto Rico wait in line to withdraw cash from their accounts in Carolina on Sept. 27. Because of the communications blackout caused by Maria, cash is the only way to buy gasoline and basic supplies.
A woman uses a container with gasoline to fill the tank of her car in San Juan on Sept. 25.
People wait as their cellphones charge outside a store in San Juan on Sept. 25.
A woman uses her tablet at night in one of the few places with signal access in San Juan on Sept. 25.
People queue to collect water in the mountains, in Naranjito, on Sept. 27.
Amiocar Rivera reads from his smart phone as he sleeps on a mattress he placed on his front porch in San Juan, on Sept. 27.
A man tries to repair a freezer during nightfall outside his home on Sept. 25 in Toa Alta.
A bartender talks to a couple at a candle-lit bar at night in Old San Juan, on Sept. 25.
A man checks his cell phone at night in one of a few places with cell signal in San Juan on Sept. 25.
People watch a movie at a makeshift outdoor theater in Old San Juan on Sept. 25.
Few buildings remain with power the first night Hurricane Maria struck in San Juan on Sept. 20.
A man tries to repair a generator in the street in San Juan on Sept. 25.
People hang out near a business that is using a generator for electricity on Sept. 23 in San Juan.
A supermarket worker collects food requested by buyers in a supermarket in Humacao on Sept. 27.
Jaime Degraff sits outside as he tries to stay cool on Sept. 23 in San Juan.
A doctor checks the eyes of Hilda Colon at a shelter set up at the Pedrin Zorrilla coliseum in San Juan on Sept. 25.
A man uses his cellphone on the street during a blackout in San Juan on Sept. 25.
Men try to repair the tire of a car during nightfall in Juana Matos, Catano on Sept. 26.
Steven Sands speaks with Alejandro Garcia as they cope with the lack of electricity in San Juan on Sept. 27.