Jennifer Lopez Reveals She Still Hasn't Heard from Family in Hurricane-Ravaged Puerto Rico
In the wake of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rican stars like Jennifer Lopez and Ricky Martin are asking their fans for donations for those in the U.S. territory
The 48-year-old singer, who was born in the Bronx, New York, to Puerto Rican parents, is just one of the stars with ties to the island making an impassioned plea for donations and aide to help residents recover.
Ricky Martin, “Despacito” singer Daddy Yankee, Marc Anthony and Rosie Perez are also using their star power to help raise awareness and money for Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the devastating storm.
“What’s on my mind is what’s going on in Puerto Rico. The devastation is beyond belief,” JLo said in an Instagram post backstage from her Las Vegas residency show. “Me and my cousin still haven’t been able to hear from our families over there.
“What’s foremost on my mind and many others is trying to figure out the best way to help,” she added. “Today, Puerto Rico needs our help. I urge you to support and donate to the efforts of the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Areizaga. Together we can help rebuild our island, and the Caribbean.”
Martin was born in Puerto Rico’s capital city San Juan, which suffered catastrophic damage. He posted a similar plea to Instagram on Friday.
“Hello everyone this is Ricky Martin and I need your help,” the star said in an emotional video.
“Puerto Rico needs you at the moment. Just go to youcaring.com/rickymartin and help us. Donate whatever you can, just one dollar would make a difference. If everyone would give me a dollar, my goodness. Puerto Rico is in a precarious position at the moment. We can’t do it alone. We need you.”
As of Friday morning, Martin’s YouCaring site alone had raised nearly $120,000.
Daddy Yankee, 40, asked his fans to bring donations to his concert in New York City on Thursday — sharing video of volunteers loading up trucks. He’s asking the same for those attending his Chicago concert on Friday.
Anthony, 49, posted a similar video to Lopez and Martin’s, while Perez 53 — who also has family in Puerto Rico she is still attempting to contact — tweeted out links to aid groups FRMA and Politica.
Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico on Wednesday with ferocious 155-mph winds that ripped trees from the ground, tore roofs from buildings, and caused flooded that made many streets look like raging rivers.
The Category 4 storm made landfall in Puerto Rico early Wednesday, ravaging the island and leaving millions without homes. It’s the most powerful storm of its kind to hit the island since 1932.
Electricity has been knocked out completely, Puerto Rico’s Emergency Management Agency said Thursday according to The New York Times, with residents in need of electricity having to rely on backup generators. Experts estimate it could take half a year to restore power to the 3.5 million people who live there. Cell phone service has also been completely shut down.
“This is total devastation,” Carlos Mercader, a spokesman for Puerto Rico’s governor, told CNN. “Puerto Rico, in terms of the infrastructure, will not be the same… This is something of historic proportions.”
Maria has been blamed for the deaths of 18 people so far including 10 in Puerto Rico, NBC News reported. Many fear that toll could climb as the search for survivors begins.