St Croix, Invisible to the World, Thanks to the Media

I’m writing to spotlight the plight of the US Virgin Islands after receiving a devastating ‘knock out’ by hurricane Irma and Maria.

The day earlier than Hurricane Maria demolished Puerto Rico, Sept 20, 2017, she destroyed the United States Virgin Islands, additionally referred to as the America’s Paradise, a bunch of islands in the Caribbean that’s positioned 40 miles (64 km) east of Puerto Rico. The US Virgin Islands encompass the primary islands of St Croix, St John, St Thomas and Water Island.

For some unusual cause, the media protection is nearly non-existent. I’ve debated with this query for years, ‘If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one round to hear, does it make a sound?’ I’ve flipped-flopped for years, “Yes, it made a sound and No, it did not.” But after the lack of protection throughout and after the devastating results that has crippled St. Croix by Hurricane Maria, I’ll by no means debate (with that query) once more. Yes, if the tree fell in the forest, it made a sound. Even although there may be lack of media protection of this disastrous storm, sure, Maria wrecked St. Croix.

Let’s again observe to Sept 6, Irma, a class 5 hurricane, arrived, hammered and ruined St. Thomas, St. John, the British Virgin Islands and different Caribbean islands. All strains of communications have been misplaced whereas households and mates flooded social media with prayers and cries, simply wishing they will hear one phrase about their love ones. Strangers net as individuals posted frantic emotional messages about their love ones. No one cared if the particular person was black or white, feminine or male, Muslim or Christian, Straight or Gay, Democrat or Republican, Trump lover or Trump hater, the reward of life was in jeopardy and that is all cared about.

The subsequent day, Thursday, Sept 7, not a social media submit, not a phone name, not even the two little blue checkmarks that usually appeared on Whatsapp was seen. Then on Friday, Sept 8, I obtained a Whatsapp message, “Hello my mates and family. I’m fantastic and so are my daughters. The island is in ruins. Thank God… we’re alive. The hospital is broken and has to be deserted. I’m at work now however all the sufferers will probably be out by tomorrow. Thank for checking. Keep praying. Love you! Stan.” My good friend (with whom I spoke) is a nurse in St. Thomas hospital and after I obtained his message, I used to be relieved worst that I lastly obtained a message that there’s nonetheless life on St. Thomas, however then water flooded my eyes, my fellowmen lives stay in jeopardy. not an actual depend but, however Irma claimed some lives on St. Thomas.

Irma turned a world recognized journey vacation spot, St. Thomas & St. John, into rubbles. The roof of the hospital was ripped off and water got here pouring in. Emergency efforts nearly started instantly to airlift sufferers from St. Thomas hospital to Puerto Rico and St. Croix respectively. While aid was on the manner for the sufferers, the Crucian individuals felt the burning want to do one thing to assist their sister islands. st. Croix individuals started their rescue efforts and loaded boats with circumstances of bottle waters, meals, garments, mills, and something they may get their palms on, to transport to St. Thomas. The Crucians even arrange non permanent eating places on St. Thomas to give the individuals scorching recent meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On their manner again to St. Croix, some individuals of St. Thomas and St. John have been transport to St. Croix. Their efforts continued till the alarm sounded {that a} Category 5 Hurricane was in direct path to St. Croix with winds over 165 miles per hour.

The evening of Sept 19 was the second longest evening of my life. I stayed up crying all evening, simply imaging the destruction of Hurricane Maria. Blowing away galvanized roofs, breaking electrical poles, uprooting large mahogany bushes, flooding individuals’s houses and shredding every part in her path. I began to relive 28 years in the past after I witness Hurricane Hugo that visited and devastated St. Croix. At that point that have was my worst. It was the longest evening of my life. I used to be 15 years of age and I bear in mind roughly 10pm when the roof simply peeled off and inside seconds all I noticed have been black skies and the sound of impress colliding in the gushing winds. My dad and mom, 5 of my brothers and I remained shut to one another as we ran to our different home that was unfinished. We hid behind the partitions. Our home had a accomplished roof, however no home windows or doorways. And my dad did not board up the home windows earlier than the storm. After the hurricane was over, the roof for that home stay intact, thank God. That evening my mother and I slip on a sheet of plywood on the moist chilly concrete flooring. The subsequent morning, the island resembled the stays of a battle subject. The whole panorama was rusty brown as if the whole island was set on hearth by a malicious workforce of gangsters, homes was rubbles, bushes damaged from the base or uprooted. Curfew was enforced. I bear in mind sitting on the steps ready for the army truck to cease by and drop off meals. I fortunately ran up the highway and gladly informed them the quantity of individuals in my household and the troopers gave me a field of effectively packaged meals. We stayed out of college for about 2 months and greater than 6 months with out electrical energy and working water.

During these occasions, a tear by no means rolled down my eyes, all I needed to do was survive. However, 28 years later, tears flooded my eyes, frightened of the unknown and the irritating half there was no phrase on mainstream media that Hurricane Maria was straight hitting St. Croix.

Most of us on the mainland, tuned into CNN, FOX, ABC NEWS, however there was no phrase of St. Croix. As if St. Croix would not exist. Yes, Maria devastated St. Croix and a couple of days later, I came upon that Maria additionally demolished the already devastated islands of St. Thomas and St. John. So, the query is, “If the media would not report one thing, did it occur? Don’t give it some thought, let me reply the query,” Yes, Hurricane Maria destroyed the United States Virgin Islands together with Puerto Rico and different Caribbean islands.”

On Sept 6, President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that he spoke with Governor Kenneth Mapp of the Virgin Islands and ‘We are with you all!’ That was a message regarding Hurricane Irma. I’m not certain if President Trump was knowledgeable about Maria hitting St. Croix, however both manner, I need President Trump and the individuals of America to know that United States Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St. Thomas, & St. John) have been demolished by the apple of IRMA and MARIA evil eyes.

The Virgin Islands are residence to about 107,000 individuals, its inhabitants is made up of a various set of people who find themselves predominantly English talking.

I and different Virgin Islanders who’re residing on the US (mainland), would really like to plead for media protection of this ravaged space which is a vacationer vacation spot that caters to over 2.6 million individuals who go to yearly.

In conclusion, as a direct results of Hurricane IRMA and MARIA, lots of the houses in the Virgin Islands have been flooded collapsed and are lacking roofs or haved partitions. Many roads are impassible due to flooding, fallen bushes, and downed energy poles. Many houses are with out electrical energy and entry to secure ingesting water.

The Media shouldn’t be solely an necessary a part of society, however it’s the accountable ‘watchdog’ who’s for giving hope to the unvoiced. In this occasion, they’re absent. Why? We want motion NOW!

Note: This was not an article to complain however to clarify the incision of the state of harm and the lack of consideration for Americans in America’s Paradise.

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