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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

Then and now: Puerto Ricans struggle to recover as new hurricane season begins - in pictures

Revisiting the people who were devastated by Maria ahead of the new hurricane season

Associated Press photographer Ramon Espinosa spent weeks roaming Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island last September.

He documented the lives of Puerto Ricans who lost roofs and possessions in the storm. Others saw their houses torn completely from their foundations, leaving only concrete bases.

Espinosa revisited the subjects of his pictures ahead of the official start of the 2018 hurricane season to see how they were living eight months after the disaster.

He found some well along the path to recovery — building concrete homes after wood houses were swept off by Maria's winds.

Some are still struggling. A 69-year-old woman living on federal assistance has new walls but a fragile metal roof that is screwed on to wood planks and certain to fly away in the next major storm.

Others lost everything and have no recovery in sight, including a couple who sold the car where they were sleeping after the storm so they could outfit a narrow sleeping space behind a parent's damaged home in Puerto Rico's central mountains.

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