DISASTERS: HURRICANES : PUERTO RICO : THE CARIBBEAN : POLICITICAL CORRUPTION : UNITED STATES: POLITICS: POLITICAL PARTIES: REPUBLICAN PARTY, TEA PARTY : INDUSTRIES: PETROLEUM : LIBRETARIANISM : SOCIAL ISSUES: IMMIGRATION : RACISM : HATE : ENVIRONMENT: GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE CLIMATE CHANGE: DENIAL : GENOCIDE: What Every American Needs to Know about Puerto Rico's Hurricane Disaster

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DISASTERS: HURRICANES : PUERTO RICO : THE CARIBBEAN : POLICITICAL CORRUPTION : UNITED STATES: POLITICS: POLITICAL PARTIES: REPUBLICAN PARTY, TEA PARTY : INDUSTRIES: PETROLEUM : LIBRETARIANISM : SOCIAL ISSUES: IMMIGRATION : RACISM : HATE : ENVIRONMENT: GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE CLIMATE CHANGE: DENIAL : GENOCIDE: What Every American Needs to Know about Puerto Rico's Hurricane Disaster

David Dillard
Administrator



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DISASTERS: HURRICANES :

PUERTO RICO :

THE CARIBBEAN :

POLICITICAL CORRUPTION :

UNITED STATES: POLITICS: POLITICAL PARTIES: REPUBLICAN PARTY, TEA PARTY :

INDUSTRIES: PETROLEUM :

LIBRETARIANISM :

SOCIAL ISSUES:

IMMIGRATION :

RACISM :

HATE :

ENVIRONMENT: GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE CLIMATE CHANGE: DENIAL :

GENOCIDE:

What Every American Needs to Know about Puerto Rico's Hurricane Disaster

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What Every American Needs to Know about Puerto Rico's Hurricane Disaster

Nine essential things to know about Puerto Rico's humanitarian crisis.

Updated by Brian Resnick and Eliza Barclay

Oct 16, 2017, 2:27pm EDT

Vox

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/9/26/16365994/
hurricane-maria-2017-puerto-rico-san-juan-humanitarian-
disaster-electricty-fuel-flights-facts

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/y8zhg26c


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Early on Wednesday, September 20, Hurricane Maria  a powerful Category 4
hurricane with 150 mph winds  made direct landfall on Puerto Rico,
bisecting the entire island and drenching it with feet of rain. Whats
happened since has been truly catastrophic for Puerto Rico.

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Theres still little power on the island. In many places, theres still no
water to drink or bathe in or to flush toilets. Theres limited food and
cell service, and dozens of remote villages have been completely cut off
from everything for weeks.

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Make no mistake  this is a humanitarian disaster involving 3.4 million US
citizens, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossellsaid the Monday after Maria hit.

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The initial recovery response from the US federal government has been
lackluster, and President Trumps comments have not inspired confidence.
After dwelling early in the week on the facts that 1) Puerto Rico is an
island, and 2) Puerto Rico is in massive debt, the president and his
senior officials then went on the defensive, describing the
administrations response so far as a good news story. The Federal
Emergency Management Agency still has not authorized full reconstruction
aid to Puerto Rico.

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Help us. Without robust and consistent help we will die, Carmen Yul Cruz,
the mayor of San Juan, said in a statement on October 12. Mr. President,
fulfill your moral imperative towards the people of Puerto Rico.

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This is still a terrible disaster that deserves more coverage and a
better-coordinated response  and both appear to have been impeded by
widespread confusion about Puerto Ricos relationship to the United States
and the severity of its current situation. Heres what every American needs
to know.

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1) 3.4 million US citizens live in Puerto Rico, and they are entitled to
the same government response as any state. But half of Americans dont even
know that.

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snip

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2) Hurricane Maria was like a 50-mile-wide tornado that made a direct hit
on the island

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snip

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3) Theres not enough water or food on the island. Power will be out for
months in some places.

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snip

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4) Puerto Ricos economy is in shambles, and the storm will make it worse


As Voxs Ferndez Campbell explains, Puerto Ricos government is broke. Its
infrastructure is aging and in disrepair on a good day. And it cant borrow
money to fix it. In May, Puerto Rico  which has a $103 billion economy
declared bankruptcy, and it has since then been trying to restructure more
than $70 billion in debt. The islands finances are currently controlled by
a federal board, which made just $1 billion available for relief, the
Associated Press reports.

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Certain US policies have contributed to Puerto Ricos economic
deterioration. One of them is the Jones Act (different from the
Jones-Shafroth Act mentioned above), an antiquated law that forces Puerto
Ricans to pay nearly double for US goods through various tariffs, fees,
and taxes. The act stipulates that any goods shipped from one American
port to another must be on American-made and -operated ships. As Voxs
Matthew Yglesias explains, it means shipping to Puerto Rico is more costly
because theres little competition among freighters.


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snip

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5) Experts believe the death toll could reach into the hundreds


With each passing day, were learning more about the frightening conditions
on the ground, from the sick being turned away from barely functioning
hospitals to mothers desperate for water for their babies. But one figure
is disquietingly absent: an accurate death toll.

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As of October 16, the official death toll was 48. But for nearly two weeks
after the storm, the official death count didnt budge from 16. During his
visit to Puerto Rico, President Trump said officials should be very proud
of that number, as it doesnt compare to a real catastrophe like Katrina.

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But there is good reason to believe the actual figure is in the hundreds,
according to a Vox analysis of public information, which found 81 deaths
confirmed by officials as linked to the storm and reports of another 450
deaths without a known cause of death. Voxs analysis suggests that the
government is being very cautious in designating deaths as directly or
indirectly hurricane-related, and painting a less severe picture, compared
to the public information available.

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In Puerto Rico, as in any disaster situation, health hinges on electric
power: Dialysis, refrigeration for insulin and other medicine, and
nebulizers for people with asthma all need electricity to be useful. But
it goes deeper than that: Electricity provides for the sanitation that
prevents many illnesses like typhoid from spreading in the first place.

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Across Puerto Rico, people need electricity to get clean water from the
faucet and flush the toilet, Voxs Julia Belluz writes. They also need it
to keep their air conditioning systems running. Without it, theres the
looming risk of people getting sick from dirty water, waste that cant be
disposed of, or heatstroke.

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snip

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6) The US government is responding to the disaster, but its going slowly

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snip

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7) Trump could be doing much more to help

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Trump traveled to Puerto Rico on October 3. It's the earliest I can go
because of the first responders, and we don't want to disrupt the relief
efforts, he said the previous week. He also said the disaster response on
Puerto Rico will be tougher than the one in Texas for Hurricane Harvey or
in Florida for Irma because it's an island.

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Trump also amended the disaster declaration, increasing the amount of
funds available for recovery in Puerto Rico. And he authorized the
temporary waiver of the Jones Act. But then it expired and wasnt renewed.

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As Voxs Tara Golshan reported, the House passed an emergency relief
package that would direct $36.5 billion toward recovery efforts in Puerto
Rico, California, and other communities affected by natural disasters. But
69 Republicans voted against it, ostensibly because it would be too big a
blow to the deficit.

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As of Tuesday, FEMA had yet to authorize reconstruction aid for Puerto
Rico  a level of assistance it has already authorized for Texas and the US
Virgin Islands. This type of help is a crucial source of funding for
governments to repair damaged infrastructure.


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snip

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8) Other Caribbean islands are hurting too

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snip

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
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