Friday, September 29, 2017

FOOD & WATER RUNNING OUT IN PUERTO RICO - U.S. Aid Failure. The People Are Desperate

 Nine days after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, thousands of containers of food, water and medicine are stuck in ports and warehouses on the island, as logistical problems continue to stop desperately needed supplies from reaching millions of Americans. Hurricane Maria pushes Puerto Rico's struggling hospitals to crisis point In many parts of the US territory, food, medicine and drinking water are scarce, and amid a growing the 1920 legislation which had prevented foreign ships from delivering supplies from US ports to Puerto Rico. But the breakdown of the island’s supply chain has left many concerned that the move will not be enough to get goods to the people who need them most. Yennifer Álvarez, a spokesperson for Puerto Rico’s governor, said about 9,500 shipping containers filled with cargo were at the port of San Juan on Thursday morning as the government struggled to find truckers who could deliver supplies across the island. The delivery issue is aggravated by an intense shortage of gasoline. About half of Puerto Rico’s 1,100 gas stations are out of action; at those that are open, people have been queuing for up to nine hours to buy fuel for vehicles or the generators which have become essential since the island is still without electricity. Rafael Álvarez, vice-president of Méndez & Co, a food distribution company based in San Juan, said he was worried that if fuel was not efficiently distributed soon, people might get desperate. “I really hope things are worse today than they are going to be tomorrow,” he said. “People are getting very anxious with the heat and the lack of easily accessible drinkable water.” Advertisement Because of Puerto Rico’s crippling economic crisis, few people had the money to afford more than a week’s worth of emergency supplies, said Alvarez. . The island is running short on food, fuel, and access to clean water and there’s limited communications, which means some communities have received no information about the rescue efforts underway. power is restored on the island. That’s half a year with Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million residents relying on generators, half a year without air conditioning in the tropical climate, half a year where electric pumps can’t bring running water into homes, half a year where even the most basic tasks of modern life are made difficult. “Being without power is huge,” says Mutter. “Just how quickly they can get it back is still an unknown thing. But it’s extremely important they get it going to suppress the chances of illness following the storm.” Puerto Rico is the most populated island Maria hit. And the crisis there is particularly intense. For one, it’s exacerbated by lack of communications. (1,360 out of 1,600 cellphone towers on the island are out.) Many communities have been isolated from the outside world for days, relying only on radios for news. The communications shortage means the full extent of the crisis has not been assessed. But the list of woes is much longer. An untold number of homes are irreparably damaged. Infrastructure is badly damaged. People aren’t working. The storm was particularly costly for the agriculture industry: “In a matter of hours, Hurricane Maria wiped out about 80 percent of the crop value in Puerto Rico, Cruises from San Juan, Puerto Rico won't be resuming this week after all. The three-night trip to Antigua and St. Kitts on the 3,114-passenger Adventure of the Seas was just announced on Thursday. It was a shortened version of a seven-night voyage to the Southern Caribbean that originally was scheduled to begin this past Saturday but postponed after Maria struck. “Given Puerto Rico’s fragile economic recovery prior to the storms, we ask the Trump Administration and the U.S. Congress to take swift action to help Puerto Rico rebuild,” Rossello said in his Monday statement. "puerto rico" island caribbean weather 2017 rain u.s. "united states" people action family homes power water logistics damage airport travel resources islands wind "wind power" infrastructure communication water "clean water" food supplies surveillance drone food aid generator airport shipping delivery logistics commodity "food storage" warehouse supermarket distribution singer Jennifer Lopez announced that she would be donating $1 million to hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

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