Hurricane Maria One Year Later

  • Released Sunday, December 9th, 2018
  • Updated Monday, December 10th, 2018 at 12:00AM


In September 2017, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico head-on as a Category 4 storm with winds topping 155 miles per hour. The storm damaged homes, flooded towns, devastated the island's forests and caused the longest electricity black-out in U.S. history.

Two new NASA research efforts delve into Hurricane Maria's far-reaching effects on the island's forests as seen in aerial surveys with high-resolution lidar and on its residents' energy and electricity access as seen in Night Lights satellite data from space. The findings, presented Monday at the American Geophysical Union meeting in Washington, D.C., illustrate the staggering scope of Hurricane Maria's damage to both the natural environment and communities and expose vulnerabilities in infrastructure.

Night Lights and Energy Use

Miguel Román

Forest Lidar and Aerial Photos

Doug Morton