When Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico on Sunday, it caused disastrous landslides and knocked out the power grid, leaving hundreds of thousands without electricity or water. As the hurricane moves on to batter the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean nations, celebrities with ties to the region are calling for immediate aid.
“It is vitally important that we do what we can to help our families in Puerto Rico, and now the Dominican Republic,” Jennifer Lopez tweeted Tuesday. “I’m teaming up with the @hispanic_federation in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.”
“These Hispanic Federation member organizations are on the ground assessing what the real needs of the people on the islands are,” added Lopez, who linked to the organization’s website. “Please support however you can.”
Fiona made landfall in the Dominican Republic on Monday night, and threatened to grow into a Category 4 storm Wednesday as it hit the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Lopez, a Bronx-born New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent, has long made efforts to support the neglected U.S. territory. The singer and actor donated $1 million to relief efforts after Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm, hit the island in 2017, killing nearly 3,000 people. Puerto Rico was still recovering from Maria when Fiona hit.
President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration Sunday that ordered the federal government to provide the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, which is an unincorporated territory of the U.S., with desperately needed assistance.
Writer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose parents were born in Puerto Rico, called for more action to help the territory.
“Much of Puerto Rico is without power due to Hurricane Fiona, which slammed into the island Sunday, dumping more than two feet of rain on some locations, causing mudslides and destroying homes,” Miranda wrote Tuesday in an op-ed in The Washington Post.
Miranda’s piece concluded that both Hurricane Maria and Fiona reminded the world that Puerto Rico needed to solve its energy crisis. In 2021, the territory’s power utilities were taken over by a private company, Luma Energy, which said it was only equipped to handle Category 2 storms.
Miranda also linked to the Hispanic Federation in a since-expired Instagram story.
“Our kids call 3 places home: NY, [Puerto Rico] on their dad’s side, and [Dominican Republic] on their mom’s side,” Miranda wrote on Instagram Tuesday, per Parade. “Two of those places need our help right now.”
Other celebrities, including actor Zoe Saldana and singers Luis Fonsi, Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony urged people via social media to help out as well, according to Today.
“My people from Puerto Rico, we are known for being strong and for our faith, and this will not be the exception!” Anthony wrote in the caption of an Instagram post. “My prayers are with you.”
Martin, who lives in Puerto Rico, sent some encouragement to fellow residents.
“Puerto Rico, once again we’re facing another hard blow from Mother Nature but, as we’ve done before, we are going to rise up with more strength and courage,” Martin said in Spanish in an Instagram video. “I know that together we’ll make our island shine like always.”