Carlos Beltran launches Maria relief fund benefiting Puerto Rico

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Houston Astros outfielder Carlos Beltran has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for his native Puerto Rico.

Houston Astros outfielder Carlos Beltran has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for his native Puerto Rico, which was battered by Hurricane Maria.

Beltran announced the fund on Twitter on Friday evening. He and his wife, Jessica, kicked off the campaign with a $1 million donation; it has since raised an additional $43,000.


"Puerto Rico, I love you. I know we will rise up," Beltran said in Spanish in a video accompanying the campaign.

Three days after the massive hurricane crossed the U.S. territory, towns remained without fresh water, fuel, power or phone service.

PHOTOS: Hurricane Maria pummels the Caribbean


The Federal Emergency Management Agency said meals and water and supplies were being delivered to the island and that some airports were reopening. But it was not clear how quickly relief would reach people, and fully restoring power and communications was expected to take some time.

"This is going to be a long and frustrating process for everybody. There is tremendous damage on the island," said William Booher, director of public affairs for FEMA.

FEMA said Saturday that round-the-clock efforts were underway to help Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Several airports were opened to help bring in goods and personnel. Ships and barges carrying meals, water, generators and other supplies were making their way to the islands, with more supplies being flown in. Sailors and marines in the region were conducting damage assessment flights, beach assessments and evacuating patients from a hospital in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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Video taken from San Juan shows the incredible force of Hurricane Maria, the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in 85 years.



Officials said 1,360 of the island's 1,600 cellphone towers were downed, and 85 percent of above-ground and underground phone and internet cables were knocked out.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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