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November 28, 2023
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Why new construction projects are making Puerto Rico’s climate disasters worse

Experts say the approval of new infrastructure in geologically vulnerable areas is endangering the lives of residents

Jomary Ortega lives in Ciales, a town located in Puerto Rico’s central mountain range. To get to work and take her daughter to school, she takes PR-146, a highway built on land susceptible to landslides, resulting in a treacherous commute for locals.

But after Hurricane Fiona made landfall on the island in September, Ortega says that much of the highway slid away, or was subsumed by tumbling rocks and mud. “I feared that the road would slide more and I would be a victim – and who would take care of my children?” Ortega said.

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