100 Days After Hurricane Maria, 1.5 Million American Citizens in Puerto Rico Still Have No Power
Downtown Ponce, Puerto Rico on Dec. 27. The landmark Castillo Serrallés, obscure in the background, is usually well lit and easily seen, especially during this time of year. Michi and Juan / Flickr
Around half of Puerto Ricans—more than 1.5 million people—remain without power 100 days since Hurricane Maria hit the island, according to official figures released Friday.
In the first official figures released by the Puerto Rican government since the storm made landfall in September, officials reported that one of the island’s 78 municipalities remains totally without power. Gov. Ricardo Rosselló had promised in October to restore 95 percent of power by December 15, while the Army Corps of Engineers estimated power would be totally restored by May.
Anger continues to grow as residents continue to struggle with closed schools and businesses and increased health risks. Authorities are grappling with challenges updating and restoring the aged grid and potentially introducing new renewable power.
As reported by NPR:
” … Puerto Ricans on the mainland are angry that it’s taking too long to rebuild the island after Hurricane Maria. Many say that the lack of progress is exposing people to a growing environmental catastrophe.
‘People are breathing toxic air because of the diesel generators, the water is polluted and they don’t have rooftops, highways haven’t been fixed,’ says Elizabeth Yeampierre. She’s an attorney and the executive director of UPROSE, a Latino community organization in Brooklyn.
‘Communities are completely isolated and they don’t have access to health care’ says Yeampierre, ‘100 days is an indictment of the U.S. and its lack of commitment to Puerto Rico,’ she says.”
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