Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

'Humanitarian crisis' looming in devastated Puerto Rico, governor says

Posted by on Sep. 25, 2017 at 1:04 PM
  • 39 Replies

'Humanitarian crisis' looming in devastated Puerto Rico, governor says

  • "We need to prevent a humanitarian crisis" Puerto Rico's governor
  • Dam releasing water, damaged after Hurricane Maria

(CNN)A damaged dam is in danger of bursting. Most buildings are damaged or destroyed. Millions are without power, and the communication network is crippled.

Puerto Rico is in a dire situation after Hurricane Maria, Governor Ricardo Rosselló told CNN in an interview on "New Day" Monday morning.
"This is a game changer," he said. "We need to prevent a humanitarian crisis occurring in America."
    Rosselló urged Congress to approve a commensurate aid package as the US territory, already hammered by a prolonged economic crisis, tries to get back on its feet.
    "Puerto Rico is part of the United States, and we need to take swift action," the governor said. "This is a major disaster."
    President Donald Trump has pledged federal help for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. A White House official said Trump is planning to visit Puerto Rico, but a date has not been set because of infrastructure concerns on the island.
    The Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration said 4,000 members of the US Army Reserves have been deployed to the island to help with Hurricane Maria recovery.

    Airplanes and ships loaded with meals, water and generators have been arriving or are headed to Puerto Rico and other affected Caribbean islands, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said in a statement.
    "We need something tangible, a bill that actually answers to our need right now," Rosselló told CNN in calling on Congress to take action.
    "Otherwise, there will be a humanitarian crisis," he repeated. "There will be a massive exodus to the United States."
    The territory's population was down to 3.4 million residents last year from 3.8 million in 2004. High unemployment and better jobs elsewhere have led many Puerto Ricans to leave, mainly to Florida and Texas, according to the Pew Research Center.
    Puerto Rico also faces a more immediate danger.
    The Guajataca Dam in the island's northwest corner is releasing water after suffering a "critical infrastructure failure" following the Category 5 storm.
    "Some of the dam has fallen apart," Rosselló said. "Now we are making sure that we can assess if the other part will fall down as well. It represents a great danger for about an estimated 70,000 people."
    Residents below the dam were told to evacuate on Friday, according to the National Guard. With more than 95% of wireless cell sites out of service, authorities had to physically go to thousands of homes to warn people of the potential collapse.
    The governor also got a first-hand look when he went officials to assess the situation Friday.
    Rosselló said that while most people in the vicinity had evacuated, efforts were still underway to get people out in peripheral areas.
    "My action has been to order evacuation," he said. "I'd rather be wrong on that front than do nothing and having it fail and costing people their lives."
    The Guajataca Dam suffered

    Communications cut

    Without power and communications in much of the island, millions of people, including city leaders and first responders, have been cut off from the world since Maria hit Wednesday.
    Rosselló said cell service is "critically limited."
    "Essentially only the metropolitan area has infrastructures, " the governor said Monday, adding that their priority is to get antennas into areas that are still not communicating.
    After flying over Puerto Rico Sunday, CNN's Leyla Santiago said residents could be seen along the highways searching for a cellphone signal.
    "The island from above is a completely different color" due to the lack of trees, Santiago said, while pools are filled with black water and debris. The storm ripped the roofs of houses, exposing their interiors to the sky, she said.
    Authorities who flew over the island Saturday were also stunned by what they saw. Roads are completely washed away and others are blocked by debris, isolating residents.
    "It was devastating to see all that kind of debris in all areas, in all towns of the island," Jenniffer González, the island's non-voting representative in Congress told CNN.
    "We never expected to have a lot of debris in so many areas. A lot of roads are closed, older ones are just gone," she added.
    Hurricane Maria ripped roofs off many houses.

    Hospitals crippled

    At least 10 people have been confirmed killed by the hurricane.
    A doctor at Canovanas Medical Center -- one of the few hospitals with a working generator -- said they were running out of fuel to keep it going. Dr. Norbert Seda told CNN that the center only had 2-3 days left of medical supplies and medicine.
    None of the three hospitals CNN visited had running water and all said they had just days of supplies left.
    However, earlier, the Gov. Rosselló guaranteed that the people of Puerto Rico would have access to enough food and water to survive.
    Survivors of Hurricane Maria need assistance

    Roselló met with more than 50 mayors and representatives from across Puerto Rico on Saturday. Some described the conditions in their communities as "apocalyptic" and said there have been incidents of looting in both homes and stores.

    Maria marching north

    Meantime, the US East Coast bracing for high winds and treacherous surf from Hurricane Maria, days after the storm caused widespread devastation in the Caribbean.
    Early Monday the National Hurricane Center said Maria was expected to pass "well east" of the southeast coast during the next day or so.
    A tropical storm watch is in effect for Surf City, North Carolina, north to the Virginia border, as well as North Carolina's Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. A storm surge watch is in effect for North Carolina's Outer Banks, from Cape Lookout to Duck.
    "The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline," the hurricane center warned, adding that dangerous swells were expected to increase along the Mid-Atlantic coast.
    Hurricane Maria also hammered Dominica, the Dominican Republic, the US Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos, a British overseas territory.
    by on Sep. 25, 2017 at 1:04 PM
    Add your quick reply below:
    You must be a member to reply to this post.
    Replies (1-10):
    francee89
    by Gold Member on Sep. 25, 2017 at 1:06 PM
    9 moms liked this
    Thank goodness and President and Congress are focused on real priorities instead of this. You know, the body positioning of football players and a healthcare bill they left to the last minute after 7 years.
    Donna6503
    by Platinum Member on Sep. 25, 2017 at 1:15 PM
    1 mom liked this
    Actually; it's getting to the point that troops will be needed to calm the civil unrest that is about to explode on the island.

    Yes folks; Puerto Ricans are American Citizens.
    iamcafemom83
    by Bronze Member on Sep. 25, 2017 at 1:18 PM
    Puerto Rico should be a top priority, even if not the top priority right now.

    Honestly...wish I could just transport them all here and let them be fed and cooled off, etc...it is just overwhelming to watch. Cant imagine living it.
    HaloSue
    by Bronze Member on Sep. 25, 2017 at 1:19 PM
    1 mom liked this
    I believe they're doing as much as they can,as fast as they can. There's numerous States that have been destroyed by these Hurricane storms and many islands.
    P.Rico was hit severely, crippling them. The Government agencies, volunteers and people who are working on the disasters are doing what ever they can currently.
    FEMA is working hard helping those in need. Along with the red Cross and other agencies.
    Praying for all those involved.
    Thanks to the fast response from our government and President Trump.
    NutraNut17
    by Member on Sep. 25, 2017 at 1:24 PM

    My friend has famliy there.  they're ok, but it's not looking good for the territory.  :(

    PamR
    by Ruby Member on Sep. 25, 2017 at 2:09 PM
    4 moms liked this

    Trump probably doesn't understand that Puerto Rico is a part of the U.S.  They're brown and speak Spanish. 

    He's focused on other priorities - whining about NFL players and poking NK. 

    manna080
    by Member on Sep. 25, 2017 at 2:16 PM
    1 mom liked this

    In the last week Trump has tweeted 17 times on kneeling and the national anthem but nothing about the devastation in Puerto Rico.  I guess we know where his priorities stand.

    hotspice58
    by Bronze Member on Sep. 25, 2017 at 3:53 PM
    1 mom liked this

    I was thinking the same thing.  Maybe someone ought to remind him of this and of damage to the Virgin Islands, those other U.S. territories.

    Quoting francee89: Thank goodness and President and Congress are focused on real priorities instead of this. You know, the body positioning of football players and a healthcare bill they left to the last minute after 7 years.


    ILive4This
    by Robin on Sep. 25, 2017 at 4:01 PM
    3 moms liked this
    Our "president" is busy hollering at football players right now. Give him a break!
    Hottmomma607
    by NOLA T. on Sep. 25, 2017 at 4:13 PM
    1 mom liked this
    His fingers must be tired? All that tweeting!

    Quoting ILive4This: Our "president" is busy hollering at football players right now. Give him a break!
    Add your quick reply below:
    You must be a member to reply to this post.
    Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
    Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

    (minimum 6 characters)