Sep 2, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Hispanics in Louisiana seek help after Ida

Photo of a family in a canoe on a river
The Maldonado family lived in a mobile home in Barataria, Louisiana, that is now completely flooded. Photo: Brandon Bell via Getty Images

Days after Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana, many of the state’s Latino residents are awaiting aid amidst sweltering heat and lack of power, food and drinking water.

Details: The category 4 storm left many houses and apartments unlivable and their residents stranded in the swath between the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Pontchartrain, where many of the state’s Latinos reside.

  • Ida devastated areas like LaPlace, home to many Latinos who lost their mobile homes or were still stuck in their houses as of yesterday, unable to get out because of flooding.
  • “Everybody was screaming so bad, but just like that, it was on top of us and we couldn’t run or get out,” Walter Rosales, a resident of Houma, told Noticias Telemundo.
  • Ida hit Cuba two days earlier as a category 1 hurricane. It made landfall last Friday on two parts of the island that are dependent on crops, now flooded, and where power has yet to be fully restored.

Latinos are offering aid in Louisiana, notably volunteers working with Spanish chef José Andrés who have been preparing meals and distributing them to those affected.

The big picture: This past week, Hurricane Nora, which left two dead in Mexico, and heavy rains in Venezuela, where at least 20 people died in Merida State, also laid bare the vulnerabilities to the effects of climate change that Latinos across the hemisphere face.

  • Climate events are driving migration, as happened after Hurricanes Eta and Iota in Honduras and Guatemala in 2020.
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