FEMA Says Progress Being Made, But Supplies Short in Puerto Rico

by Ben Pena October 2, 2017, 0:11

"To the people of Puerto Rico: Don't believe the #FakeNews!"

"When I read that tweet, it was in reference to the mayor of San Juan, not to the people of Puerto Rico", said Rossello, who has made a point of working cooperatively with Trump's administration on aid for the island.

"It's unfortunate that the Puerto Rico mayor wants to, excuse me the San Juan mayor, wants to sort of go against the grain", he said, adding that Yulín Cruz should visit the FEMA command center on the island.

Trump Saturday criticized Cruz on Twitter for her "poor leadership ability", saying that the mayor and others in Puerto Rico had been unable to get their workers to help.

President Donald Trump on Saturday (Sept 30) accused Puerto Ricans of wanting "everything to be done for them", even as criticism grew that federal relief efforts amid devastating hurricane damage have fallen desperately short. "10,000 Federal workers on island doing a fantastic job".

Maria pummeled Puerto Rico on September 20 as a very powerful Category 4 hurricane on the heels of Hurricane Irma, with roof-ripping winds and torrential rains that caused widespread flooding and heavily damaged homes, roads and other infrastructure.

Sen. Bernie Sanders said President Donald Trump's attack on the mayor of San Juan is "unspeakable".

While much of the United States territory of 3.4 million remained without power, fresh water or communications links long after the catastrophic passage of Hurricane Maria, reports continued to filter in of battered towns across the island that have yet to receive any aid.

"If he asks to meet with me, of course I would meet with him", Cruz said.

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"Carmen has been going door to door helping her own community", adds Alemar, whose family is still in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. About half of the island's 3.4 million people do not have access to drinking water, and 95 percent remain without power, according to the Pentagon. She also said the death toll had been low for a storm the size of Hurricane Maria.

Trump is calling the brown, Spanish-speaking people of Puerto Rico - which he does not really consider to be part of his America - lazy and expecting a handout.

"Our priorities at this juncture keep being food delivery, delivery of gas, making sure that the hospitals are working, making sure we can get more hospitals on line, that they get their diesel and their fuel", Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares said Saturday.

Trump's latest remarks - issued from his luxury golf resort in New Jersey - could further inflame sentiment.

FEMA said Saturday that more than 60 percent of Puerto Rico's gas stations were in service, and that as of Thursday almost half of grocery stores were operating.

The recovery effort in Puerto Rico remains challenging ten days after Hurricane Maria hit.

"Actually, I was asking for help - I wasn't saying anything nasty about the president", Cruz said on MSNBC.

Trump is expected to visit the island on Tuesday but the White House confirmed this morning that his wife Melania will not make the trip as she did after previous disasters. Criticism of federal relief efforts continues to intensify as numerous supplies that have been delivered to the island remain out of the hands of the communities that need them.

The Federal Aviation Administration supported the restoration of services to all eight commercial airports in Puerto Rico, FEMA said on Friday.


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