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Roberto Figueroa Caballero sits on a small table in his home that was destroyed by Hurricane Maria in La Perla neighborhood on the coast of San Juan, Puerto Rico on Oct. 5, 2017. Figueroa, who wanted to stay at home with his dog during the storm, said he was evicted by police and taken to a shelter for the night. When he returned the next day and saw what was left of his home, he decided to put his salvageable items back where they originally were, as if his home still had walls, saying that it frees his mind.
Ramon Espinosa/AP
Environment

6 Months After Hurricane Maria, More Than 100,000 Puerto Ricans Are Still Without Power

Six months ago today, Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico — knocking out power for millions, shutting down schools, and forcing hospitals to rely on backup generators.  

Progress restoring normality to the island has been slow, and still an estimated 121,000 people are without power, CNBC reports

And many of these residents are not yet in the clear, according to reports. Some may still have to wait up to two months to finally have power restored to their homes, Justo Gonzalez, interim director for Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority (PREPA), told AP News.  

Take Action: Call on World Leaders to Help Millions of People Affected by Extreme Weather

As the timeline for restoring power to the island continues to extend, US leaders are calling for action to speed up the process, even as the US Army Corps of Engineers begins to reportedly withdraw its workers

“While we recognize that much progress has been made in restoring power to the majority of customers, the job is not done,” a letter from the US House Committee on Natural Resources to the US Army Corps of Engineers, read. “The federal government has a responsibility to the remaining customers who are without power to ensure that their power is restored as quickly as possible.” 

“We do not understand how reducing the number of personnel helps accomplish that goal,” the letter added

Hurricane-Irma-Puerto-Rico-Emergency-Workers.jpgImage: Carlos Giusti/AP

Read More: Bernie Sanders Introduces Legislation to Rebuild Puerto Rico With Clean Energy

The remaining PREPA customers who are still without power, according to the House Committee on Natural Resources letter, are primarily located in mountainous, rural, and hard-to-reach areas.

That includes the province of Yabucoa, where 65% of the population is still without power.  

Across the island, the lack of power isn’t the only concern. 

Read More: How You Can Get Free Flights to Puerto Rico and Texas to Help With Storm Cleanup

An estimated 50,000 people across the island are relying on FEMA distribution sites for food and water, according to Justo Hernandez, deputy federal coordinating officer for FEMA

The storm and its aftermath could also lead to a mental health crisis, especially for women, Refinery29 reports

Puerto-Rico-Hurricane-Irma.jpgImage: Carlos Giusti/AP

“This makes me feel desperate, anguished and depressed," Daiza Aponte Torres, a resident of the city of Carolina, told NBC news. "Although my girls are OK healthwise, we don't have a home."

As for now, PREPA has continued to assure residents power will be restored to the entire island by May.

Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, including goal number 11, which calls for sustainable cities and communities. You can join us and call on world leaders to take action to help millions of people around the world affected by extreme weather here