GUAYANILLA, Puerto Rico -- Puerto Rico has been facing a series of earthquakes every couple of days for more than two weeks already. Millions have ended up without electricity.
“It was pandemonium. It fells like the world is collapsing around you,” said Ivonne Santiago, a civil engineering professor at UTEP who is in Puerto Rico.
One person has already died. Thousands have been forced out of their homes for fear of their lives and entire buildings have come crumbling down.
“We live very close to the church that was destroyed, the town church. You could hear the bricks falling, you don’t know what’s going on,” Santiago said.
For those in Puerto Rico it’s been a living nightmare.
“One school was totally destroyed and it was a school for over 240 students,” she said.
Luckily there was no one inside.
They’re calling on structural engineers to please go to the island and help inspect schools, public buildings, and peoples homes to see if lives are at risk.
To help others Santiago and her students have designed a charging oasis, using solar panels to complement the fuel generators towns are providing their people and make sure they can stay communicated.
“If people have charged cell phones they can request help, they can communicate with their relatives and their loves ones because every time there’s an earthquake we get numerous phone calls,” Santiago said.
If you are a structural engineer please email Professor Santiago at email@example.com so you can learn how to volunteer.
If you would like to help in other ways you can donate to build more charging oasis you’re asked to mail the donation check with charging oasis in the memo line to UTEP’s civil engineering department.