Puerto Rico in Dire Straits

Posted on October 30, 2017 by

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Puerto Rico is in a dire situation ever since Hurricane Maria hit its coast. Nearly 85% are without electricity and 45% without drinkable water. Puerto Rico’s recovery could cost up to $85 billion, which could destroy the island’s economy.

The Trump administration submitted a $29 billion disaster-relief request to Congress last week to fund recovery efforts in the wake of hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma, as well as to pay federal flood insurance claims. The Jones Act, a century-old law that only allows American-built and operated vessels to make cargo shipments between U.S. ports, made getting aid to Puerto Rico very difficult. Fortunately it was briefly waived.  The waiver of the Jones Act will help the hurricane relief tremendously.

Hurricane Maria has left many residents without electricity and without drinkable water. Around 77% of grocery stores are open, nearly 80% of gas stations are open, and of 1,600 cellular sites, at least 1,300 are out of service. The official death toll is at 45, and at least 113 people are unaccounted for.

On 12 October, President Trump tweeted, “We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!”

This has raised suspicion that the Trump administration may recall federal relief workers from any further aid to the island.

This is a major problem for  Puerto Rico because this natural disaster has impacted the local health.  With most of the electric grid in Puerto Rico wiped out, hospitals have to run on generators, if they have any at all. Puerto Rico’s residents’ overall health is in danger.

Posted in: Jayra Chavarria