per­fect storm

A sit­u­a­tion in which ev­ery­thing seems to go wrong, or be­come very dif­fi­cult, at once.

Spotlight - - FEEDBACK WORDPLAYPERFECT - by Clau­dine We­ber-hof


“The per­fect storm? Debt and dis­as­ter in Puerto Rico in his­tor­i­cal and po­lit­i­cal con­text”

— the ti­tle of a talk at Ford­ham Univer­sity in New York state In re­cent years, the US ter­ri­tory of Puerto Rico has suf­fered ter­ri­ble storms as well as a ma­jor debt cri­sis. The ti­tle of the talk in the ex­am­ple here is a play on words: the pop­u­lar id­iom “the per­fect storm” refers on a fig­u­ra­tive level to the many chal­lenges that Puerto Rico has been fac­ing all at once; and lit­er­ally, it refers to the hur­ri­canes that have dev­as­tated the is­land.

There are many fac­tors in this Caribbean is­land’s past that have put it in a weak po­si­tion po­lit­i­cally and fi­nan­cially; but only bad luck and per­haps cli­mate change can be blamed for events such as Hur­ri­cane Maria in late 2017.

It is tragic that the US gov­ern­ment, which must an­swer for the well-be­ing of its ter­ri­tory, did not do more to help Puerto Rico and re­build the is­land’s in­fra­struc­ture in a timely fash­ion. This fail­ure has led to many more deaths than were of­fi­cially re­ported.

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