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Puerto Rico Struggling with Shortages of Basic Supplies

30 Setiembre 2017, 02:11 | Bibiana Flor

Carl Juste Miami Herald TNS Getty

5 Easy Ways to Help Hurricane Maria Victims in Puerto Rico

"Given that Harvey and Irma disrupted far larger and more vibrant economies than that of Puerto Rico, this reflects the stunning amount of damage that Maria has wrought", Kamins said.

An FCC spokesman said its response team was "packed and ready to go and awaiting FEMA approval to deploy".

"If we had a demand for 50,000 solar residential systems in Puerto Rico over the next three months, I don't know if the solar industry would say, 'here's all the personnel and equipment to do that, '" said Shah.

Roughly 258,000 undergraduates are enrolled in higher education in Puerto Rico, which is coping with a damaged power grid, damaged dams, bridges and roads and razed homes and businesses. "The Defense Department doesn't operate that".

Meanwhile, bottlenecks have developed in the distribution of aid that has arrived in Puerto Rico.

In the nearby fishing town of Catano, authorities said they would open a distribution point over the weekend to hand out food and water, almost two weeks after the hurricane hit. He said that Puerto Rican residents would have to pay at least twice as much for food, drinking water and other supplies without the waiver. The island has been in a recession for more than a decade, with a poverty rate of 45 percent and unemployment around 10 percent. They said it was better than nothing.


In truth, daylight in Puerto Rico was welcome after a five-hour flight over the inky blackness of the Atlantic.

"Demand for cash is extraordinarily high right now, and will evolve as depository institutions regain power, armoured vehicle services are able to reach branches, and ATMs are once again active", the spokeswoman said.

The island's landline service was also largely out, according to the FCC, with one local internet provider saying all its customers were disconnected due to power outages. The company also says it is sending network experts and technicians to work with government officials. "DoD is part of the Unified command in support of the civil authorities".

Asked why it took eight days to get a top general on the ground, Trump's homeland security advisor Tom Bossert defended the administration's response. Marquez said. "They haven't brought anything here".

"Only the DOD, in my view, has the capacity to take charge of that", the Florida Republican said in an interview on CNN's "Inside Politics".

He added that 10,000 federal forces are on the island, including 7,200 troops.


"We've been standing in line since 8 a.m.", said Cara Rookwood of Philadelphia. "We are not in a waiting mode for anything".

"We will not rest, however, until the people of Puerto Rico are safe", he said.

Trump wrote on Twitter: "The fact is that Puerto Rico has been destroyed by two hurricanes".

Praised for the federal response to hurricanes in Texas and Florida, Trump has been on the defensive over his handling of the crisis in Puerto Rico.

Trump said he was not aware of Duke's remark.

"The president has been very diligent; he has been essentially talking to us every day", the governor said in an interview with MSNBC on Thursday. Fuel is scare, power could be out for months in some areas, and residents have had a hard time trying to fly off the island because of damage to the Federal Aviation Administration's radar. "This bureaucratic response is not working". I don't see anything coming anytime soon. The problem is this is not any storm. The league previously donated $1 million to Hurricane Irma relief efforts in Florida and the Caribbean.


McClatchy reporters Anita Kumar and Joseph Cooke contributed.



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