Puerto Rico Relief
“It’s like an atomic bomb hit us. It’s like a war zone,” she says in Spanish about the destruction she’s seen (Above Picture). “I lived through [Hurricanes] Hugo, George, Hortense, and this is catastrophic. Actually, catastrophic comes short.”
Conty, an environmentalist and president of Amigos del Río Guaynabo, said the island is in shambles, with no electricity, running water or reliable communication. Fuel is running low in gas stations, too. As a result it seems like “people are getting desperate,” she says while speaking from a parking lot, which as far she knows is the only place near her home in Guaynabo—in northern Puerto Rico—that gets cell phone reception.
Consequently in the past two weeks, everyone from elected officials to celebrities made public appeals for speedier and more substantial relief efforts by the U.S. government. Over the weekend, President Trump attacked another official, the mayor of San Juan. Who has been been working tirelessly to help local residents, according to almost all press accounts—accusing her of poor leadership after she made desperate appeals for more federal help saying that people were dying.
In this image provided by the U.S. Navy, sailors and Marines attached to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU), embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), unload military field rations, known as MRE or meals, ready to eat, from an MV-22 Osprey aircraft at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico(Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Eduardo Jorge/U.S. Navy via AP)
Most of all US Health and Human Services officials, said in a press conference Monday afternoon the 14 hospitals in Puerto Rico are almost all fully back on the electrical grid.
55 Percent Have No Water
First of all about 55 percent of Puerto Rico’s population is without drinking water, the U.S. Department of Defense reports.
95 Percent Have No Power
Therefore the vast majority of the 1.57 million electricity customers in Puerto Rico remain without power, the DOD said Saturday. The agency added that damage assessments and restoration efforts are underway, focusing on critical facilities.
Also Hurricane Maria knocked out nearly all of Puerto Rico’s 2,400 miles of transmission lines. More than 30,000 miles of smaller distribution wires, leaving the island almost completely without power.
In addition residents in remote areas could be without power for up to 10 months, Lieutenant General Todd T. Semonite, commander of the Corps of Engineers said in a press conference Monday.
“Sometimes we just need someone to be there for us. Not to fix anything or do anything in particular, but simply so that when we fall we are supported and cared for during the hard time.”