This Friday, 19 January 2018 photo, shows one of multiple properties located in the Esperanza sector that are currently for sale, in Vieques, Puerto Rico. Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans face losing their homes upon the expiration of a three-month moratorium on mortgage payments that banks offered after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Photo: Carlos Giusti / AP Photo

By Ray Sanchez, Khushbu Shah, and Leyla Santiago
30 January 2018

(CNN) – More than four months after Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is halting new shipments of food and water to the island, an agency official with direct knowledge of the plan told CNN on Tuesday.

The island government appeared blindsided by the decision, saying it was still in talks with FEMA on a timetable for assuming control of food and water distribution.

FEMA has called the island's emergency operation the longest sustained distribution of food, fuel and water in agency history, including more than $1.6 billion worth of food and more than $361 million worth of water.

New shipments of food and water will officially stop Wednesday to the US territory in the Caribbean, though FEMA said it has more than 46 million liters of water, 2 million Meals Ready to Eat and 2 million snack packs on the ground for distribution if needed.

"The commercial supply chain for food and water is re-established and private suppliers are sufficiently available that FEMA-provided commodities are no longer needed for emergency operations," the agency said in a statement.

Héctor M. Pesquera, the government's public safety secretary and state coordinating officer, said the transition period for local authorities to take over distribution should last at least two weeks.

"The Government … is waiting for critical data provided by FEMA in order to determine when the responsibilities should be transferred from FEMA to the Government of Puerto Rico," Pesquera said in a statement.

"This has not happened yet and we were not informed that supplies would stop arriving, nor did the Government of Puerto Rico authorize this action." […]

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, a frequent critic of the federal response to the devastating September hurricane, reacted to the decision on Twitter, asking in Spanish, "Seriously, are they leaving?"

"This is the kind of indifference that must be stopped. Enough," wrote Cruz, who will attend Tuesday's State of the Union address as a guest of US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York.

Speaking Tuesday at a Washington event sponsored by the Latino Victory Fund political action committee, the mayor said some schools outside San Juan still have no water, power or even supplies of milk.

Nearly half a million power utility customers remained without electricity as of last week, according to the power authority. [more]

FEMA to end food and water shipments to Puerto Rico on Wednesday, official says

WASHINGTON (AP) – Plans by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to halt hurricane relief supplies to Puerto Rico drew criticism Tuesday from members of Congress and the mayor of the island’s largest city.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said many people in the U.S. territory need the water and food they have been getting from FEMA more than four months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

The mayor said that in recent days officials have had to deliver powered milk and water to some parts of the island, where still about 35 percent of population still has no power.

“There is need still,” she told reporters in Washington, where she was attending the State of the Union address as a guest of New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

A letter to FEMA Administrator Brock Long signed by 30 members of Congress said the plan to end deliveries of food and water Wednesday would especially hurt people in remote parts of Puerto Rico. [more]

FEMA criticized for plan to end storm aid in Puerto Rico


  1. Anonymous said...

    The Orange Monkey's handling of the Puerto Rico crisis (natural disaster caused by climate change) is an ongoing crime against humanity.

    If 35% still do not have electricity - then they also have no income to earn money to buy the food and water that the private sellers will (allegedly) soon be "offering" (at inflated prices, no doubt).

    Months later, Trump continues to exemplify his arrogance, indifference, hatred, bigotry and unconcern for Americans. Unfit for office, through and through.  

  2. Anonymous said...

    vile beyond words. terrifying. FEMA abandoning PR.
    sidenote: milk is for baby cows and the milk industry is horrific for the planet, animals, and human health.  

  3. robert bonacci said...

    I concur...  

  4. Anonymous said...

    Anyone who thinks 4 months is long enough to recover from a storm strong enough to obliterate the existing roads, bridges,homes,business buildings,water systems and of course the electrical system for the whole island; then they are children or idiots. 1st hand experience is the truth... I've been through 2 hurricanes here and experienced hit and miss typhoons in Guam. 4 months is barely time to recover from the shock.....then the re-building starts after the Ins. Co.'s stop dragging their asses....don't get me started.
    It took over 10 years to burn the rubbish generated from the last hurricane that came ashore 9-11-1992. It burned 24/7 for over 10 detail of many ...  


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