Hurricane Victims in the South Bronx

Jenny Cortez with her father in Mott Haven. (Photo by Paula Moura via Mott Haven Herald)

In a story for Mott Haven Herald, Paula Moura takes a look at how some of the Puerto Rican victims of Hurricane María, now living in the South Bronx, are coping.

One of them is Jenny Cortez who, after spending a month and a half without electricity or her medication, finally found a plane ticket she could afford to join her father in the neighborhood. Days after she arrived in the city, Cortez went to the New York City Hurricane Relief Center in Harlem for help. She is one of more than 2,500 who have sought its services since the center opened on Oct. 19. In mid-February, relief services moved to HomeBase, which has 13 locations across the five boroughs, eight of which are in the Bronx.

A researcher explains how unlike businesses, people end up on the “losing side” when it comes to natural disasters.

People displaced by extreme weather events caused by climate change have no legal protections, said Jessica Wentz, an attorney and researcher at the Sabin Center for Climate Law at Columbia University. In contrast, the captains of industry whose businesses, environmental experts argue, are at the root of these catastrophes in the first place, receive every possible break.

“There are actors who are contributing to climate change and profiting from the activities that contribute to [it],” said Wentz. “And there are people who are on the losing side.”

The “bureaucratic maze” that displaced hurricane victims endure in NYC sometimes proves to be too much, as was the case for Sonia Concepción. Find out why she decided to return to Puerto Rico, in the full story at Mott Haven Herald.

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