Environment

In A Puerto Rican Mountain Town, Hope Ebbs And Health Suffers

The people of Castañer, an isolated village in Puerto Rico’s central mountains, watch warily. Crews have come and gone, and people living along the mountain roads don’t expect to get power until late summer, if ever. Power finally started flowing to the center of town last month, but the electrical grid remains unstable — an island-wide blackout April 18 disrupted progress — and the hospital continues to use its own generator. Read more

The Impact of Natural Disasters and Urban Sprawl

Wildfires have ravaged 245,000 acres in Northern California this month, killing 42 people and leveling 8,700 structures. The size of the fires and their massive toll shocked the state, as large fires typically occur in areas with small populations and cause limited damage. But this could be one of the costliest wildfires in the nation’s history, with damages expected to reach at least $6 billion. Read more