Almost three weeks after Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico, the overwhelming majority of the island stays with out energy and the demise toll from the storm has risen to forty five, authorities stated.
At the least 113 individuals stay unaccounted for, in accordance with Karixia Ortiz, a spokeswoman for Puerto Rico’s Division of Public Security.
The restoration has moved slowly since Maria struck the US territory on September 20, leaving a lot of the island with out primary providers reminiscent of energy and operating water, in response to residents, aid staff and native elected officers.
Appearing US Division of Homeland Safety Elaine Duke will make her second journey to the island on Thursday, DHS spokesman David Lapan stated Wednesday.
The go to comes as hospitals all through the money-strapped island of three.four million individuals have been operating low on drugs and gasoline. Some residents and native elected officers have stated they anticipate the demise toll to rise.
Within the city of Caguas, within the central mountain vary, some sufferers — together with one respiration with assistance from a ventilator — needed to be evacuated to the Navy hospital ship USNS Consolation close to San Juan after a generator failed, Dr. Christian Rodriguez stated this week.
At the least two individuals have died from leptospirosis, which spreads when the urine of contaminated animals will get into consuming water, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz informed CNN Wednesday. Individuals have been consuming water from creeks contaminated by lifeless animals, she stated.
“We’re not out of the woods but,” she stated. “We at the moment are beginning to see a variety of well being points. … So we’re in an incredible effort, an awesome humanitarian effort.”
As of Wednesday 89% of the island was with out electrical energy and virtually forty seven% had no telephone service, in line with an internet site arrange by the Puerto Rican authorities. Some forty three% of the island’s 313 financial institution branches remained closed, it stated.
“We’re making progress,” Chris Krebs, Homeland Safety’s assistant secretary for infrastructure safety, stated Wednesday. “There’s progress on the facility aspect. However we will do extra. We will push extra assets down into the island.”
The restoration will take time given the storm’s magnitude, he stated
“We’re pushing all the things we will down into Puerto Rico,” Krebs stated.
“There are over 17,000 responders, whether or not it is army or civilian belongings. Over one hundred helicopters doing air drops in distant communities, offering water. Every of the seventy eight municipalities has a devoted water truck. One other seventy two vans are devoted to hospitals…