Trevor Houser

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A house in ruins in Puerto Rico. Credit Hector Retamal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Almost nothing on the planet, short of nuclear weaponry, destroys economic value as rapidly as a mega-hurricane. In Puerto Rico, decades of economic progress were undone in 12 hours by Hurricane Maria.

With millions lacking electricity or potable water, avoiding a humanitarian disaster should be President Trump’s top priority. But these immediate needs are just the beginning of Puerto Rico’s long road to recovery. As Congress considers an aid package in the days and weeks ahead, it’s important to grasp the truly extraordinary scale of the storm’s economic devastation.

Hurricane Maria was an absolute monster. By our calculation, the average exposure in Puerto Rico was winds of 123 miles per hour.…  Seguir leyendo »