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‘Apocalyptic’: Puerto Rico To Be Without Electricity 6 MONTHS; Cell Towers Destroyed; People Dying

‘Apocalyptic’: Puerto Rico To Be Without Electricity 6 MONTHS; Cell Towers Destroyed; People Dying

The words “apocalyptic devastation” and “humanitarian crisis” are being used to describe conditions in Puerto Rico following hits by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which have shut down modern civilization on the island.

“It’s an avalanche of disasters, one disaster after another disaster,” Father Flavio Bravo said of the situation in the U.S. Commonwealth.

Bravo, the Jesuit leader in Puerto Rico, described the scenes on the island as “apocalyptic.”

News reports indicate that Puerto Rico has suffered near-total devastation, and the government response has not been very effective.

Approximately 1,360 of the island’s 1,600 cell phone towers have been knocked down, The Guardian reported. The destruction of the phone system made the catastrophe worse, as social media was the only form of communication many people previously had.

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Additionally, the entire power grid was knocked out, and no one knows when it will be back. Estimates for restoration of electricity range from four to six months, Vox reported.

“That’s half a year relying on generators, half a year without air conditioning in the tropical climate, half a year where even the most basic tasks of modern life are made difficult,” Vox writer Brian Resnick wrote.

People literally are dying from a lack of electricity. Those most at risks are the very sick and disabled, such as dialysis patients.

“We are finding people whose oxygen tanks are running out, because … small generators now don’t have any diesel,” San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz told CNN.

Puerto Ricans are living in apartments without walls, and houses filled with water because they have no place to go.

More than 10,000 disaster relief workers and vast amounts of supplies have been rushed to Puerto Rico. Disturbingly, red tape is preventing some aid from reaching the island.

Cargo ships cannot land aid in Puerto Rico if they lack a U.S. flag and crew because of an old federal law called the Jones Act, the Guardian noted. That meant a Canadian freighter could not drop aid off in Puerto Rico.

“Puerto Rico is teetering on the edge of a humanitarian crisis, and the television cameras are still largely absent,” Susanne Ramirez de Arellano of the Guardian wrote. “And if you’re shocked by that, imagine what else they’re not showing you.”

Is your community or state prepared for such a crisis? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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9 comments

  1. When the government won’t response adequately, the criminals are ready to move in. PR would be a drug traffickers dream distribution point or a landing place for terrorists. This situation is far worse than Katrina ever was. There are way too many other opportunities for criminals in PR because of the location. Our government better wake up and figure this out.

  2. The Jones Act is not some antiquated law. It keeps our merchant sailors in a job. It keeps a fleet, albeit a small one, of merchant ships who are flagged in the US. It forces companies who want to transport goods in the US to use US ships and crew. While there can be hiccups like a Canadian ship bringing aid to PR, what about all the goods moved every day in US ports? Want those moved by foreign flagged vessels with foreign crews? What then in time of war? When we have no trained merchant mariners to move our military and all their supplies. You want to leave that for other countries to do for us? No the Jones Act needs to be protected. It protects jobs of skilled workers, it creates jobs in ship building, it protects our independence as a country being able to move our own goods and it protects us in times of conflict being able to activate all civilian crewed military ships. If Canada wants to send goods to a US port, it isn’t hard for them to use a US ship and crew just like they are already required to do. Stupid excuse to attack a very important protection for our merchant seamen and our country.

    • When time is of the utmost importance, what ship is used to deliver life saving supplies should not be a point of contention. If a country is giving supplies for free to save lives, put your differences aside and save people. I understand the point of the Jones Act, your jobs are not at stake, just someone else’s lives. “Mariner wife”, if you were starving and a boat is off shore with food, you’d be upset you couldn’t get it. So you want Canada to pay American merchants to deliver the food, they already are paying enough to help. The only stupid excuse is your statement, so you would let people starve over a point of who delivers it.

      • Kristen J Blaylock

        It’s not hard to follow that law. They can use a US ship. I’ve never even heard of the Jones Law. I don’t live near the shore, but I can see the significance of it, and it is law. There’s no excuse for anyone to complain when they can just get another boat. If we got rid of that law now, with how North Korea is behaving, we’d be fools. We might as well kill everyone in PR, because that’s what getting rid of Jones Law could be. Kim, and the terrorist are waiting for just an opportunity. I know churches who go down to assist in these circumstances, also. The situation is dire, yes, but there is hope. No need to act like a chicken with its head cut off. Btw, no one should be so dependent on the grid. The people of PR are very resilient. They are not stupid, nor are they without capability. Many of them are fisherman, and self reliant. The biggest problem will probably be the mosquitoes.

      • Exactly why does it matter where help is coming from people are dying.

    • From what I hear (based on minimal news coverage of PR), the greater hiccup is the lack of infrastructure to move goods from port to people. Roads are destroyed; containers of goods are baking at the docks.

      So while it’s great to ensure we can get goods and services to PR, it may be more important to prioritize the last-mile problems. Otherwise, we’ll just create more of a bottleneck at the port in San Juan.

  3. This may be the straw that breaks the camels back on whether PR becomes a state or pushes for independence. I strongly doubt it would ever separate from us, but stranger things have happened in recent times. Pushing for full recognition would help the citizens, and potentially create another large base for Democrat voters.

  4. This is old news. Trump put a hold on The Jone’s Act so any ship can bring goods in. Another person wrote in what is going on. First of all, the US had containers of filled goods sitting in the Ports even before the second hurricane hit. Getting all the supplies etc to PR are not the problem at all. It’s the infrastructure, roads, electricity, downed poles and buildings and houses completely destroyed, and lack of truck drivers that live on the Island that can move the needed supplies around. Look at the picture….now how in the world are we supposed to just overcome getting supplies to people on the other side when there are literally no roads? This will take time to fix the damage done here.

  5. is their another one coming to central Florida because people are saying that their is a another hurricane coming to central Florida

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