Recovery and Long-Term Effects
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The recovery of services to society, including those from private and governmental sectors, is displayed graphically to illustrate how fast different components of the social-technological system performed after hurricane María. The performance of different sectors varied with its particular circumstances, but it is clear that the recovery of power generation and delivery affected the whole economy. Moreover, much of the early recovery was based on locally generated power, which means that the initial recovery was not sustainable until power to the island was restored. An analysis of the power of María in relation to its effects shows that the effects on Puerto Rico were also dependent on social and technological factors. María was not only a biophysical event it was also a social-technological event, which placed people in the throws of a humanitarian crisis. Moreover, extreme events have invisible effects that become visible months after the event is thought to be over. Extreme events uncover all the limitations and inadequacies of government assistance programs and they need to be evaluated as social-ecological and technological events.