We’ve heard devastating stories in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, but not nearly enough about the impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico.
The U.S. territory was slammed by the tropical storm mere days ago. As 3.4 million residents continue to scramble to safety, the governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, has called for more federal aid. Many residents do not have access to water, power or roads. It’s been described as “apocalyptic.”
At least 13 lives have been lost in the storm and there are 70,000 more at risk should a dam in the western part of the island break.
Rosselló said in an appearance on CNN Monday morning that the Guajataca dam has fallen apart in a “critical infrastructure failure,” adding that strenuous efforts are being made to ensure that everyone in the dam’s vicinity have been evacuated. When asked if he thinks the dam will falter, Rosselló said he’d “have to assume so.”
“I don’t have all the details. … My action has been to order an evacuation. I’d rather be wrong on that front than doing nothing and having it fail and costing people’s lives,” he said.
Rosselló added that he’s “made contact with all the municipalities” within Puerto Rico and has established runners “to go to those areas where we don’t have telecoms or radio so that we can get information.”
“We’ve established routes so that we can deliver food, water, diesel so that things can keep on moving. We’ve energized the main hospital in Puerto Rico and given fuel to alternate hospitals around the island. We’ve opened the ports to get more resources,” he said.
Many residents have been unable to get in touch with their families outside of Puerto Rico and within, as nearly 95 percent of wireless cell service is currently out of service, according to the island’s Federal Communications Commission.
New Yorker Kristin Vazquez, 25, has family in Puerto Rico and tells…