I am writing to highlight the plight of the United States Virgin Islands after receiving a devastating “knockout” from Hurricane Irma and Maria.
The day before Hurricane Maria demolished Puerto Rico, on September 20, 2017, it destroyed the United States Virgin Islands, also called the Paradise of America, a group of islands in the Caribbean that lies 40 miles away ( 64 km) east of Puerto Rico. The US Virgin Islands are made up of the main islands of St Croix, St John, St Thomas, and Water Island.
For some strange reason, media coverage is almost non-existent. I have debated this question for years: ‘If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around to listen, does it make a sound?’ I’ve been going around for years, “Yes, it made a sound and No, it didn’t.” But after the lack of coverage during and after the devastating effects that crippled St. Croix by Hurricane Maria, I will never argue (with that question) again. Yes, if the tree fell into the forest, it made a sound. Although there is a lack of media coverage of this disastrous storm, yes, Maria did destroy St. Croix.
Let’s go back to September 6, when Irma, a Category 5 hurricane, hit, hit, and ruined St. Thomas, St. John, the British Virgin Islands, and other Caribbean islands. All lines of communication were lost as families and friends flooded social media with prayers and tears, only wishing they could hear a word about their loved ones. Strangers cried when people posted frantic emotional messages about their loved ones. Nobody cared if the person was black or white, woman or man, Muslim or Christian, straight or gay, Democrat or Republican, lover of Trump or hated Trump, the gift of life was in danger and that was the only thing that they all cared about.
The next day, Thursday, September 7, you didn’t see a social media post, not a phone call, not even the two little blue check marks that normally appear on WhatsApp. Then, on Friday September 8, I received a WhatsApp message, “Hello my friends and family. I am fine and my daughters are too. The island is in ruins. Thank God … we are alive. The hospital is damaged and has at work now, but all patients will be out tomorrow. Thanks for checking. Keep praying. I love you! Stan. ” My friend (whom I spoke to) is a nurse at St. Thomas Hospital and when I received his message, I was relieved that I finally received a message that there is still life in St. Thomas, but then the water flooded my eyes, the life of my fellow men are still in danger. I’m helpless and that’s the worst feeling. There is no exact count yet, but Irma claimed a few lives in St. Thomas.
Irma turned a world-renowned tourist destination, St. Thomas & St. John, to rubble. The roof of the hospital was ripped off and water poured in. Emergency efforts began almost immediately to airlift patients from St. Thomas Hospital to Puerto Rico and St. Croix, respectively. As relief was on the way for the patients, the people of Crucian had a burning desire to do something to help their sister islands. The people of St. Croix began their rescue efforts and loaded boats with boxes of water bottles, food, clothing, generators, and whatever else they could get their hands on to transport to St. Thomas. The Crucians even established temporary restaurants in St. Thomas to give people hot, fresh food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On their way back to St. Croix, some people from St. Thomas and St. John were transported to St. Croix. Their efforts continued until the alarm sounded that a Category 5 hurricane was heading directly for St. Croix with winds of more than 165 miles per hour.
The night of September 19 was the second longest night of my life. I was crying all night, imagining the destruction of Hurricane Maria. Blowing up galvanized roofs, smashing electric poles, uprooting large mahogany trees, flooding people’s houses and destroying everything in their path. I began to relive 28 years ago when I witnessed Hurricane Hugo that visited and devastated St. Croix. At the time that experience was my worst. It was the longest night of my life. I was 15 years old and I remember around 10 at night when the roof came off and in seconds all I saw were black skies and the sound of galvanizing colliding with high winds. My parents, 5 of my siblings, and I stayed close to each other as we ran to our other house that was unfinished. We hid behind the walls. Our house had a finished roof, but it had no windows or doors. And my dad didn’t cover the windows before the storm. After the hurricane passed, the roof of that house remained intact, thank goodness. That night my mom and I slept on a sheet of plywood on a cold, damp concrete floor. The next morning, the island looked like the remains of a battlefield. The entire landscape was rusty brown, as if the entire island was set ablaze by a malicious gang of gangsters, houses turned to rubble, trees uprooted or uprooted. The curfew was enforced. I remember sitting on the steps waiting for the military truck to pass and drop off food. I happily ran down the road and gladly told them the number of people in my family and the soldiers gave me a well packed box of food. We were out of school for about 2 months and more than 6 months without electricity or running water.
During those moments, a tear never rolled down my eyes, all I wanted to do was survive. Yet 28 years later, tears welled up in my eyes, scared by the unknown and the frustrating part was that there was no news in the mainstream media that Hurricane Maria was hitting St. Croix directly.
Most of us on the mainland tuned in to CNN, FOX, ABC NEWS, but there was no news from St. Croix. As if St. Croix didn’t exist. Yes, Maria devastated St. Croix and 2 days later, I found out that Maria also demolished the already devastated islands of St. Thomas and St. John. So the question is, “If the media didn’t report something, did it happen? Don’t think about it, let me answer the question,” Yes, Hurricane Maria destroyed the United States Virgin Islands along with Puerto Rico and other Pacific Islands. Caribbean “.
On September 6, President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that he spoke with Governor Kenneth Mapp of the Virgin Islands and said, “We are with you all!” That was a message about Hurricane Irma. I’m not sure if President Trump was briefed on Maria’s coup on St. Croix, but either way, I want President Trump and the people of the United States to know that the United States Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St Thomas and St. John) They were demolished by IRMA and MARIA’s evil-eyed girl.
The Virgin Islands are home to some 107,000 people, its population made up of a diverse set of people who are predominantly English-speaking.
I and other Virgin Islanders residing in the US (mainland), would like to request media coverage of this devastated area, which is a tourist destination serving more than 2.6 million visitors. annually.
In conclusion, as a direct result of Hurricanes IRMA and MARIA, many of the houses in the Virgin Islands were flooded and are missing roofs or have collapsed walls. Many roads are impassable due to flooding, downed trees, and downed utility poles. Many houses do not have electricity or access to potable water.
Not only are the media an important part of society, they are the ‘watchdog’ responsible for giving hope to those who have no voice. In this case, they are absent. Why? We need action NOW!
Note: This was not an article to complain about, but to explain the severity of the damage and the lack of attention of Americans in the paradise of the United States.