It has been almost one month since Maria slammed into the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico on September 20, and the US island is still reeling from the devastation the hurricane caused. As Hispanic Heritage month ends, this is what the US government finds on its plate. There are over 3 million Puerto Ricans, who are American citizens living in this US territory, which is larger than 21 states.
Only 9% of Puerto Rican residents currently have electricity, and according to FEMA 63% of Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority customers have potable water, this means that more than 1.2 million citizens are still without water, with some trying to obtain water at Superfund sites filled with hazardous waste.
The estimated cost of damage is $95 billion The island was previously $74 billion in debt with a $15 million emergency fund.
A $4.9 billion federal relief is specifically designated for Puerto Rico, this is out of a $36.5 billion disaster aid bill passed by Congress. It includes funding for other recent hurricanes and the wildfires in California.
Puerto Rico's Governor Ricardo Rosselló sent a letter to Congress requesting an additional $4 billion in federal aid, warning that the territory was “on the brink of a massive liquidity crisis” in addition to the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
The number of federal staff and military personnel on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands is 20,000 according to the federal government. More than three-quarters of cell sites that still remain out of service according to the Federal Communications Commission. The Puerto Rico government reported that as of October 15, 59% of telecommunications services are currently operational, along with only 25.07% of cell phone antennas and 42.61% of cell phone towers.
Only 392 miles of roads in Puerto Rico are open out of a total 5,073 miles of roads and 90% of homes were reportedly damaged by Hurricane Maria. 80% Percentage of crops in Puerto Rico were destroyed devastating the island’s agricultural industry.
The death toll is 48, with an additional 117 people remain unaccounted for. The actual number of deaths, however, is projected to be much higher. However, some media outlets have reported an additional 36 hurricane-related deaths, along with an additional 450 deaths where the cause is currently unknown.
Groups rally in Puerto Rico to evacuate sick and elderly patients https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/puerto-rico-crisis/puerto-rico-crisis…
Puerto Rico governor plans to restore 95% of power by December @CNN http://cnn.it/2yoXDje
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