Puerto Rico calls for faster relief

Puerto Rico struggles with food fuel and medical shortages and calls for relief efforts to be stepped up

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Puerto Rico calls for faster relief

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Puerto Rico is struggling with fuel, water and medical supply shortages one week after Hurricane Maria struck.

The most powerful storm to hit the island in nearly 90 years knocked out the US territory’s entire power grid,
leaving its 3.4 million residents having to queue for dwindling gasoline and diesel supplies.

The storm which claimed the lives of more than 30 people across the Caribbean left widespread destruction in its wake.

Life in Puerto Rico has been stripped bare: in much of the island all that remains standing are concrete structures and trees flayed to the bark. Few people can work, contact their loved ones or even find clean water.

Even as the US military stepped up relief efforts there is frustration with the Trump administration and its slowness to waiver shipping restrictions (under the Jones Act) to allow in more emergency deliveries.

The Jones Act requires that all goods shipped between US ports to be carried by American owned-and-operated ships.

Puerto Rico typically gets most of its fuel by ship from the United States, but with one of its two main ports closed and the other operating only during the daytime, not enough emergency aid is getting through.
In the meantime desperate residents have to wait hours for fresh water supplies from lorries which have often been mobbed.