The utter devastation suffered from Hurricane Maria on the US territory of Puerto Rico has the citizens desperate for help from federal agencies as the conditions are reaching a critical stage for many. Some of the people are feeling like the US federal government has forgotten them.
“It looks like a bomb went off,” said Monique Casablanca, 37, by phone from Ocean Park in the capital of San Juan.
I’ve seen very little to no police presence, I’ve seen zero military presence. Nights are excruciating, there’s screaming, there’s gunshots. It’s hot, so it’s hard to sleep right now I haven’t slept in 48 hours,” said Casablanca, a rental property manager.
Federal agencies rescuing people and delivering humanitarian aid to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria faced an island that remains largely without power, running water, fuel and access to cell service on Monday, five days after the storm first made landfall.
More than 10,000 federal staff, including 700 FEMA personnel, were on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, assisting with rescue efforts, restoring power and getting badly needed supplies to parts of the islands, a FEMA spokesperson said on Monday evening.
The scenes around the island are similar, the devastating damage done by the massive storm has wreaked havoc on the Puerto Rican fragile economy. FEMA and National Guard troops assigned to relief efforts are working diligently but are overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the issue.
Many areas are still flooded, and the heat which on Monday topped 94 degrees is taking a toll on the people, especially the old and sick since no air conditioners can run without electricity being restored. Potable water is also in short supply. About 60 percent of the people have no clean water restored.
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Photo courtesy DOD
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