Over Half of Puerto Ricans Still Don’t Have Drinking Water, 95% Remain Without Power

by | Oct 3, 2017

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media. 


Puerto Rico — On Tuesday, as Donald Trump visits a post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico, less than half of the commonwealth’s 3.4 million people have access to clean drinking water. Additionally, the Pentagon said in a press release over the weekend that 95 percent of Puerto Ricans remain without power two weeks after the storm.

The president’s response to Puerto Rico’s crisis has been the subject of much press coverage. Some in the media have even commented on the noticeable difference between the Trump administration’s reaction to hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which affected U.S. states, and its approach to Maria, which devastated the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.

From POLITICO on Monday:

“Just weeks ago, the military response to Hurricane Harvey in Texas was rapid and powerful. In preparation for Hurricane Irma, the Trump administration again ordered up an extensive military relief operation.

“But when Hurricane Maria struck at full strength several days later — precisely as advertised, and similar in scale to Harvey — the U.S. military simply called off the huge resources it had mustered for Hurricane Irma.”

Complicating the president’s visit to the ravaged island is the fact that Trump publicly criticized the government of Puerto Rico’s capital, San Juan, for its response to Maria. From a series of tweets from the president:

“Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help.”

Regarding recovery efforts, Trump went on to tweet that San Juan officials “want everything to be done for them.” The U.S. president’s attitude toward the whole situation has not been lost on Puerto Ricans, as the Associated Press reported Monday:

“Outside of official events, many Puerto Ricans say they won’t be welcoming President Donald Trump with open arms during his visit to the storm-wracked island on Tuesday.

“People in the U.S. territory were angry or dismissive Monday when asked about Trump’s description of some Puerto Ricans who have criticized the U.S. government’s aid after Hurricane Maria as ‘ingrates’ and about his assurances that the relief effort is going well.”

With Puerto Rico in the position of essentially having to start from scratch in terms of rebuilding its electrical infrastructure, the commonwealth’s government is considering abandoning fossil fuel dependence and shifting toward a power grid based on renewables like wind and solar, as Anti-Media reported Tuesday.

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