Hurricane Maria leaves destruction in Puerto Rico
Less than two weeks after hurricane Irma made landfall, hurricane Maria ravaged through the island of Puerto Rico which has killed at least 16 people and has destroyed around 80% of the Islands crops. Even before Maria made landfall Puerto Rico was in an awful financial state. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, aka PREPA, has about 2,400 miles of major transmission lines. 85% which have been destroyed. Before Maria made landfall PREPA said it needed about 4 billion dollars to upgrade its infrastructure. The only problem is PREPA is about 9 billion dollars in debt and filed for bankruptcy protection back in July. While some power has been restored for some general hospitals, PREPA has estimated that it will take about 9 months to get all the power back for residents.
President Trump, who has been criticized for tweeting about the NFL instead of the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, said on Tuesday that the federal government is trying very hard to get food and water down to the Island while adding that they were hit “as hard as you can get hit”. Representative Paul Ryan spoke out on the crisis this week as well and said “they need our help and they are going to get our help” adding that part of the 15 billion dollar package that was going to help victims of hurricane Harvey in Houston will also be going to Puerto Rico.
Local officials have been able to get to about half the island but have been struggling to get to some isolated towns. Carmen Yulin Cruz, The mayor of San Juan, the islands capital, said this on monday “what we’re seeing now is that the aftermath is almost more horrific than the hurricane itself, we’re doing our hardest to get to the isolated towns and help the elderly who are locked up in their buildings without food, electricity, or any medical attention.