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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.

Alex Wroblewski / Getty Images

A woman prepares food during nightfall outside her house, destroyed by Hurricane Maria, in Toa Altaa on Sept. 25.

Hector Retamal / AFP - Getty Images

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.

Ricardo Arduengo / AFP - Getty Images

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.

Ramon Espinosa / AP

Raphael and Viviana Urena walk down a residential street illuminated by the headlights of a car in San Juan on Sept. 27.

Photos: Hurricane Maria Lashes Puerto Rico, Storm-Battered Caribbean

Gerald Herbert / AP

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.

Carlos Giusti / AP

A woman uses a container with gasoline to fill the tank of her car in San Juan on Sept. 25.

Alvin Baez / Reuters

People wait as their cellphones charge outside a store in San Juan on Sept. 25.

Alvin Baez / Reuters

A woman uses her tablet at night in one of the few places with signal access in San Juan on Sept. 25.

Ricardo Arduengo / AFP - Getty Images

People queue to collect water in the mountains, in Naranjito, on Sept. 27.

Ramon Espinosa / AP

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.

Gerald Herbert / AP

A man tries to repair a freezer during nightfall outside his home on Sept. 25 in Toa Alta.

Hector Retamal / AFP - Getty Images

A bartender talks to a couple at a candle-lit bar at night in Old San Juan, on Sept. 25.

Ricardo Arduengo / AFP - Getty Images

A man checks his cell phone at night in one of a few places with cell signal in San Juan on Sept. 25.

Ricardo Arduengo / AFP - Getty Images

People watch a movie at a makeshift outdoor theater in Old San Juan on Sept. 25.

Ricardo Arduengo / AFP - Getty Images

Few buildings remain with power the first night Hurricane Maria struck in San Juan on Sept. 20.

Photo: Satellite Photos Show Puerto Rico Left in the Dark

Alex Wroblewski / Getty Images

A man tries to repair a generator in the street in San Juan on Sept. 25.

Alvin Baez / Reuters

People hang out near a business that is using a generator for electricity on Sept. 23 in San Juan.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

A supermarket worker collects food requested by buyers in a supermarket in Humacao on Sept. 27.

Hector Retamal / AFP - Getty Images

Jaime Degraff sits outside as he tries to stay cool on Sept. 23 in San Juan.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

A doctor checks the eyes of Hilda Colon at a shelter set up at the Pedrin Zorrilla coliseum in San Juan on Sept. 25.

Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

A man uses his cellphone on the street during a blackout in San Juan on Sept. 25.

Alvin Baez / Reuters

Men try to repair the tire of a car during nightfall in Juana Matos, Catano on Sept. 26.

Hector Retamal / AFP - Getty Images

Steven Sands speaks with Alejandro Garcia as they cope with the lack of electricity in San Juan on Sept. 27.

Photos: Powerless Puerto Rico Struggles to Recover Post Maria

Gerald Herbert / AP