Crisis In Puerto Rico



Days after the storm hit Sept. 20, Rosa Maria Almontes cafe in San Juan was still without power and all the other businesses nearby were boarded up.

FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2017 photo, homes lay scattered after the passing of Hurricane Maria in Roseau, the capital of the island of Dominica.

A number of the soldiers in Kent's unique grew up in Puerto Rico and are eager to get home and help their community.

Two Republican senators have introduced legislation to permanently exempt Puerto Rico from the Jones Act, a previously obscure law that requires that goods shipped between U.S. ports be carried by U.S. -flagged vessels. But, she said, they couldn't, because they were waiting on orders from the Trump administration.

Brigadier General Rich Kim, who is the deputy commanding general of US Army North, arrived in Puerto Rico on Wednesday to take charge of coordinating military efforts. One woman was in tears because a bank machine was inoperable; Weir reached into his wallet and handed her some bills. As of Thursday, there are 7,000 troops and 3,000 federal employees on the island.

FEMA administrator Brock Long also piled on: "The problem that we have with the mayor unfortunately is that unity of command is ultimately what's needed to be successful in this response", he said, requesting that she report to a joint field office.

Jose Ayala, vice president of operations for the Crowley shipping company, told CNN Thursday that at least 10,000 containers were sitting in the San Juan port, filled with "food, water, medical aid, everything".

Puerto Rico's fallout of Maria will result in a long, long road to recovery.

After the storm passed, islanders set about digging out from the mud and debris slung by worst storm to hit the island in nearly a decade. "So of course, the concern is, what's going to happen when all that runs out?" This also means that there are next to zero working cell phone towers and no reception anywhere on the island.

He said about 50 per cent of the island's residents now have running water. 'I've lived in New York most of my life, I know lots of people who come from Italian families.' Of course you do.

Communication has become a resource nearly as precious as power and water.

"We were all at the end of our rope", she said. But she still managed to serve up hot meals for people left with little in Marias wake. "If America wants to have seafarers the Jones Act is essential".

Trump is scheduled to visit the island next week for the first time since the hurricane hit. Twenty-two other hospitals have yet to be assessed.

The World Health Organization says a lack of safe drinking water and suitable sanitation could lead to significant health risks, some of which include diarrhea, hepatitis, malaria and malnutrition.

Once the petition reaches 500,000 signatures, it will be sent off to the president and the Department of Homeland Security, urging them to help the millions of Americans currently suffering in Puerto Rico.

Begnaud and Santiago both said they receive hundreds of messages a day from people on the mainland, asking them to check on relatives. The Jones Act imposes heavy tariffs, taxes, and fees on any foreign vessel, which gets passed on to Puerto Rico residents. "And it came out like it did, because it just does".

President Donald Trump's administration earlier on Thursday waived the restriction known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, or the Jones Act, for Puerto Rico for 10 days, after a request by Puerto Rico's governor, Ricardo Rossello.

This money supplements the $2.5 million in emergency relief funds awarded to Puerto Rico for damages related to Hurricane Irma. They say that when Trump initially declined to temporarily waive the act he was showing more concern with a handful of shipping companies than with 3.5 million Puerto Rican citizens.

Before the storm, the island's government was in the midst of bitter negotiations with creditors to restructure a portion of its $73 billion in debt, which the previous governor declared unpayable.

Captain Joaquin Matias has relatives in the city of Guaynabo near San Juan.

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