US Virgin Islands: The American citizens battered by hurricane Maria – and forgotten

Hurricanes Irma and Maria had major impacts throughout Latin America, with the most media attention being based towards Puerto Rico due to what was seen by many as a slow response by the federal government. However, very little attention was paid towards the U.S. Virgin Islands, which had been beaten down by Hurricane Irma before taking an even bigger beating from Hurricane Maria. The islands, made up of U.S. citizens, were hit with near the same force that Puerto Rico was, yet no one is talking about it. When asked about why the President did not take a trip to the islands, the White House claimed it was due to bad logistics. One public housing building just by Irma, before being flooded by Maria. Many who lived in this building were forced to stay, as not all were relocated and given vouchers. Those who had to stay were forced to because their parts of the building were “less affected.” Along with this, those who had to stay were forced to continue to pay rent. Many say they still have not seen any FEMA agents, and with thousands of residents not having television or internet, it remains extremely difficult for those people to get the assistance they need.

No one is talking about the U.S. Virgin Islands. Yet, they not only bore the same destruction that Hurricane Maria brought to Puerto Rico, but also dealt with huge amounts of damage from Hurricane Irma two weeks earlier. It seems that because of the uproar surrounding President Trump’s slow response in Puerto Rico, little attention has been paid to the U.S. Virgin Islands. The people that are American citizens who have experienced the same horrors that Puerto Ricans experienced are calling for help, yet we cannot seem to take our attention off of playing the blame game. Lets try and get past Trump’s poor response to the Hurricanes in Puerto Rico and start talking more about the help that Puerto Ricans need, as well as those in the U.S. Virgin Islands, both of which are made up of United States citizens.


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