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 Dominica Hurricane Relief Fund launched a campaign to help the residents of the small island nation.
UNICEF continues to provide emergency relief and help for children in the region.
The American Red Cross is asking for blood donors.
The local nonprofit ConPRmetidos is raising money for relief to communities in Puerto Rico impacted by the hurricane.
The crowdfunding website GlobalGiving has a goal of $2 million in fundraising for relief and recovery efforts in the Caribbean.
Save the Children will lead relief efforts for families and children impacted by the hurricane in the region.
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.
The NGO Team Rubicon is recruiting volunteers and monitoring the situation in the region.
Catholic Charities USA is assisting with recovery efforts in the Caribbean.
The disaster-relief organization All Hands is sending volunteers to the U.S. Virgin Islands to assist with relief efforts.
The Hispanic Federation is raising funds to help with emergency relief in Puerto Rico.
21 US Virgin Island Hurricane Help is raising $1 million for recovery efforts in the islands.
The Puerto Rican women's health organization Taller Salud has created a relief fund for families on the island.
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Ed. note: We removed the American Red Cross' donations page from the list due to recent controversy over the use of funds for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
This story was originally published on September 20, 2017. It has since been updated.