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Local aid for Puerto Rico waiting for take-off

03 October 2017
Local aid for Puerto Rico waiting for take-off

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.

"My Administration, Governor @RicardoRossello, and many others are working together to help the people of Puerto Rico in every way ..."

A sign that reads in spanish, Playita (neighborhood), need water and food, SOS, is seen Baldorioty de Castro highway, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Sept 30, 2017.

The president of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority, Elí Díaz Atienza, gave a breakdown of the water service restoration effort to San Juan radio station WIPR, saying water is running to about 55% of the city.

While President Trump touted the government's effort Friday, San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz blasted the lack of progress.

During a fussilade of 21 tweets published on Saturday, and more on Sunday morning, Mr Trump sought to claim the federal government was responding to the crisis and that critics were politically motivated or else influenced by the "fake news media".

(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) - After witnessing a desperate call for help on ABC News from a caretaker at a Puerto Rico nursing home devastated by Hurricane Maria, a Florida man chartered his company's private jet to bring critical supplies to the home's residents.

He added, without elaboration: "They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort".

In a series of Twitter messages, Trump said the federal government had done "a great job with the nearly impossible situation".

FEMA Administrator Brock Long piled onto the pushback against Cruz.

Meanwhile, The Hill reports that people who the USA government evacuates from Puerto Rico, Dominica and other countries in the region must sign promissory notes saying that they will repay the cost of their transportation.

The president is headed to the island on Tuesday to survey the damage. Members tell Newswatch 16 that collecting the items has been giving them peace of mind as they worry about their loved ones in Puerto Rico.

"I can't help but see so much of the criticism of the president".

"I reached out to Rob, telling him that we want to help out", Lalo said.

Trump accused the mayor of acting as the behest of Democrats "to be nasty to Trump", but Cruz said she was only appealing for speedier assistance to save lives. An estimated 10,000 people remain in shelters, he said. She said they've been ready with volunteers and trucks needed to get the supplies out.

"They were driving around and saw that they had a bar on their phone and pulled over on the highway to call me real quick", she said. ". not a good news story".

"The people who are the best in this are the US military".

"The three-star general is on his way, if he's not already arrived in Puerto Rico, to evaluate the response and what the requirements are".