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Drone video shows widespread devastation in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria caused massive damage and destruction in Puerto Rico, resulting into a major humanitarian crisis. Many people around the world have heard and read about the disaster in on the island, but few have seen any recent video footage of the area. This is not surprising as large parts of the island are without electricity, although Tesla was able to supply power to a hospital recently, and are inaccessible as a result of blocked roads and damaged bridges. So the only way to show the extend of the damage is to take to the air. The National  Weather Service was on it and send their drone into the air to capture the following dramatic footage.

Drone video of the damage

The service’s San Juan office released a video on Twitter Tuesday. The video shows the damage of the different villages and pueblitos in Puerto Rico. The lush and green images, you might be familiar with are gone for the most part. Instead, images are shown of collapsed roads, overturned cars, downed trees and many damaged buildings.

In some parts of the clip, one can spot a car or two driving, but for the most part the video clip shows an eerily empty and quiet Puerto Rico, devoid of human life.

Since Tuesday some of the schools in San Juan and Mayagüez have officially opened. The official death toll is now 51, but officials expect that number to increase possibly to as high as 450.

The video also shows complete destruction of some of the island’s renewable energy projects, such as the solar park in Humacao or the wind turbines in Naguabo. For the most part the electricity grid is down. Only 25% of the population has power.

More than a month has gone by since Maria struck the island, but as the drone video shows, a full recovery is far away.




Avatar for Haye Kesteloo Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at DroneDJ, where he covers all drone related news and writes product reviews. He also contributes to the other sites in the 9to5Mac group such as; 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, 9to5Toys and Electrek. Haye can be reached at or @hayekesteloo