Lowcountry radio station keeping Spanish-speaking population updated on Hurricane Maria
On most days, music is the main feature on an afternoon radio program on WAZS-AM 980 and 1480. The radio station is also known as El Sol 103.9 FM. Its studios are on Rebecca Street in North Charleston.
But on Wednesday, Johana Gelvez turned the topic to Hurricane Maria. The bilingual broadcaster for El Sol says she and her audience have a deep interest in what's happening in the Caribbean, especially Puerto Rico.
"Our listeners, they have parents over there. have a friend whose mother is from Puerto Rico," Gelvez explained in between introducing Top 40 Hispanic songs, checking social media accounts, and taking listener phone calls.
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That's why she searches the internet for information about catastrophic conditions from Maria.
"I keep an eye on all the media, all the weather. I keep an eye on the meteorologists, what they are saying," Gelvez said.
Edgar Gustavo Angel Gonzalez hosts the morning show for El Sol. He says listeners are tuning in for updates because Puerto Rico’s phone and internet service are badly damaged.
"Today the connection with them was crucial. Some of them haven't received any information from Puerto Rico. And we updated them today," he said.
- SEE MORE HURRICANE STORIES (CLICK HERE)
For Gelvez, it’s a national disaster with a local impact.
"I feel sad for them. I hope nothing bad happened," she said tearfully.
Radio hosts at El Sol promise to pass along fundraising details for storm victims if charities are able to help. The need is great in the Hispanic community.
El Sol's broadcasters say their listeners are also paying attention to Mexico, where a powerful earthquake caused damages and deaths.