Several generations of the Sortre family rode out Hurricane Maria in a neighbor’s concrete home, listening to ferocious wind flinging wood and other debris against the roof and hoping it wasn’t pieces of their own wooden houses.
Their hopes were crushed when they emerged the morning after the storm passed over their village in the Morovis municipality in the mountains of central Puerto Rico.
“When I saw the house I felt immense sadness because I lost everything I had gained with the sacrifices made over the years,” said Yadira Sortre.
She said her house, her mother’s and those of her siblings were destroyed. “The whole family lost everything,” she said.
Since then, she and her neighbors have struggled to get by. The electricity is out and their San Lazaro neighborhood is cut off from the rest of the village of San Lorenzo because a bridge washed away.
Neighbors are helping each other the best they can. People are eating only once a day and drinking a lot of coffee. Some people are sleeping in cars.
Julia Rivera lost part of her house and the school where she normally has a job has been damaged. She said she is thinking about moving off the island.
Text from the AP news story, Puerto Rico family lost everything to hurricane.
Photos by Ramon Espinosa