Hurricane Maria: Red Cross Needs Spanish-Speaking Volunteers

(Photo by RICARDO ARDUENGO / Getty Images)

(CLEVELAND) - Hurricane Maria is now approaching the northern coast of Puerto Rico as destructive winds and flooding are continuing. The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says the eye of the Category 4 major hurricane is now located about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of San Juan, the capital. Maximum sustained winds are 140 mph (220 kph) and the storm is moving to the northwest at 12 mph (19 kph).

(Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL / Getty Images)

Jim McIntyre with the Northeast Ohio Red Cross said almost 150 volunteers were sheltering alongside residents on Wednesday, and the local chapter was preparing to send people from the Cleveland area to add to those forces.  "We've increased the number of training schedules through October because we know the need is only going to grow, as these storms just keep coming," McIntyre said.  "If there are Spanish speaking people who have it in their hearts to help others, we encourage them to logon to and begin the application process."  The local Red Cross also needs medical professionals to volunteer.  Everyone will go through training, according to McIntyre, to learn how to work in a shelter and provide the assistance necessary to preserve human life.

There are already 64 people from Northeast Ohio deployed to help with the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

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