Hurricane Maria a reminder of 'second-class' status for some

by Joy Montgomery October 3, 2017, 2:17
Hurricane Maria a reminder of 'second-class' status for some

Maria, the most powerful storm to strike Puerto Rico in almost 90 years, has destroyed roads, making it hard to get food, water and fuel around the island.

Here are some agencies that are helping in the recovery effort in Puerto Rico.

Over the weekend, and 10 days after Hurricane Maria left 95 per cent of Puerto Rico without electricity and 50 per cent of its residents without drinking water, the President stepped up his attacks on the mayor of its capital city, Carmen Yulin Cruz, after she asked for more help, saying that people were dying.

Cruz appeared to respond Saturday, though she did not mention Trump by name.

"The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump", the president tweeted.

While it is not unusual for celebrities to criticize Mr. Trump on Twitter, the remarks were particularly searing, and they came as a major dispute was unfolding over whether the federal government was doing enough to help Puerto Rico, an American commonwealth with 3.4 million citizens.

Trump says in tweets that the federal government has done "a great job with the nearly impossible situation".

Cruz had told media on Friday that if Trump does not ramp up relief efforts, Puerto Rico could see "something close to a genocide". "But, you know, that is not who we are here in San Juan".

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Trump's latest missive could further inflame sentiment after he had earlier weighed in on the emerging fight over how to finance the already debt-stricken territory's recovery - comments that were viewed as premature and distasteful by some.

Mr. Trump's tweets showed "his true self: narcissistic, petty, lacking in empathy and failing to lead", tweeted "Star Trek" actor and activist George Takei.

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017Congresswoman Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon of Puerto Rico has been wonderful to deal with and a great representative of the people.

FEMA said in a news release Saturday that urban search-and-rescue teams, working alongside local law enforcement, have scoured the island and rescued 843 people.

"We are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency", Ms Cruz said in a news conference. "We want the people to be safe and sound, and we will be there every day until that happens".

Mr Trump's acting homeland security secretary, Elaine Duke, visited the island on Friday (local time), surveying the ravaged landscape by helicopter in an hour-long tour, passing still-flooded streets, twisted billboards and roofs with gaping holes, and offering encouragement to some of the 10,000 emergency personnel she says the U.S. government has on the ground. "I will continue to do what I have to do, say what I have to say, compliment the people that I have to compliment, and call out the people that I need to call out". "But I think it's going really well, considering". They also will stop at the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were also hard-hit by Hurricane Maria.

The devastation in Puerto Rico.

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