Hurricane Maria left a trail of destruction through the Caribbean, just two weeks after Hurricane Irma devastated the area. Maria battered Dominica, leaving at least 15 dead, before crossing through the U.S. Virgin Islands as a Category 5 phenomenon. Then the storm made landfall in Puerto Rico Wednesday morning as a Category 4, the first one of that strength to hit the U.S. territory since 1932.
At least six people have been confirmed dead after the hurricane, Puerto Rican officials said on Friday. The island's public-safety department said that three of the deaths, in the municipality of Utuado, were a result of mud slides. Two people died in flood waters in Toa Baja, and one person died in Bayamón from a panel striking him.
"We are aware of other reports of fatalities that have transpired by unofficial means but we cannot confirm them," public-safety department secretary Héctor M. Pesquera said.
After the region has been hit by two hurricanes of such magnitude, emergency relief and long-term recovery efforts in the Caribbean will take months, if not years. Organizations on the ground need your support now more than ever — be it through volunteering, offering monetary donations, or sending supplies to the area. If you're interested in helping the victims of the storm, below you'll find a list of organizations that could use your help.
The first lady of Puerto Rico Beatriz Rosselló and a group of companies created Unidos por Puerto Rico to help the victims of the storm.
This story was originally published on September 20, 2017. It has since been updated.