Aid Is Getting to Puerto Rico. Distributing It Remains a Challenge. – The New York Times

“LAS MARÍAS, P.R. — Inside a dark school sheltering families left homeless by landslides and hurricane winds, bottled water was getting so scarce on Monday that relief workers parceled out one small plastic cup to go with each person’s dinner of hot dogs, rice and beans and syrupy apricots.

“This is the ration,” Thomas Bosque, 60, whose roof was torn off in the storm, said, lifting his cup.At a local command center, Edwin Soto Santiago, the mayor of this devastated mountain municipality of 9,500 people, was also waiting for food and water, even though nine pallets sent by the federal government sat at a regional distribution center an hour away. The only way for the mayor to get them was to send a truck down muddy, tree-strewn roads. A day earlier, Las Marías officials had missed their chance to pick up a fresh shipment, the mayor said, because nobody told them it had arrived.

“We’re still looking for it,” Mr. Santiago said.Two weeks after Hurricane Maria split apart Puerto Rico, basic aid is arriving in San Juan and reaching more remote towns and barrios aching for assistance. But some families say that they are still receiving only meager portions, and ill-equipped and overburdened local mayors have been left to figure out how to haul supplies from regional drop-off points to their storm-ravaged towns. The death toll from the hurricane rose to 34, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said on Tuesday.”

Here are the top two comments so far, of only 98 comments so far.

Patrick Borunda Washington 16 hours ago

Hurricane Maria’s impact on Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are a graphic demonstration of the utter incompetence of Donald Trump and his fake administration. With all of the technology for forecasting the storm’s track, with all of the resources this huge economy could have brought to bear and all the experience embedded in our disaster relief infrastructure, active duty and reserve military, Trump & Co. couldn’t pre-position to mitigate the inevitable impact on the Commonwealth.
For starters, why wasn’t the Hope already at sea, out of harm’s way north of the storm track but days closer to Bahia San Juan? Though not fully stocked with perishables, it certainly could have had relief on the scene within 24 hours. Further, Marine Expeditionary Unites (nee Marine Amphibious Forces) and Navy Seabees have the capacity to clear LZs, repair airports and establish communication networks in profoundly hostile environments within hours of a launch.
As a young infantry officer in Vietnam I was already trained to organize lifts of utility and heavy lift helicopters to place the right mixes of men, equipment and supplies rapid-fire into small LZs. How much better could it be done now with advances in communications technology and better aircraft?
The simple fact of the matter is that the fake Trump administration lacks the capacity to operate the levers of government effectively, much less efficiently. This performance is a disaster!

Reply 78 Recommended

Mary New Jersey 17 hours ago

It is despicable that after 2 weeks, Puerto Ricans are not able to receive the most basic staples, i.e. food and water. Why isn’t our military using helicopters and airplanes to do air drops in the fartherest parts of the country?

And what about housing for those who have no home? Maybe some of the containers could be put together to furnish temporary housing. LED lanterns for lighting.

Mary Kandziolka

Reply 70Recommended

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