Slow hurricane response still hurts Puerto Rico


Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS

A year after the hurricane, Yamary Morales Torres was rebuilding her mother's home on the waterfront in Yabucoa. The house next door, foreground, which belonged to her brother, was left with only three walls standing.

Veronica L. Werzinske, Staff Writer

It’s been almost two years since Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico in September 2017. At that time, it was Hurricane Category 5, with winds of 175 mph which were devastating for all the population of the island.

Puerto Rico has not yet recovered from this tragedy. It was a humanitarian crisis that was worsened by the slow process of aid that occurred at that time, since most of the people living on the island suffered from a lack of food, clean water and necessities.

The recovery in Puerto Rico has not been easy. The United States allocated $40 million for humanitarian aid to Puerto Rico, but not even half had arrived at the beginning of this year.

It took until July and September of this year for $19 million to be approved for a new phase of food assistance. That money will be used to help the families most affected by the hurricane.

Thanks to the slow response of our nation’s politicians, two years later these storm victims – U.S. citizens – are still struggling to be able to meet life’s basic necessities due to Hurricane Maria.

Politicians need to have a faster response in tragedies like this.

Puerto Rico has been working on a new emergency plan to be in a better position to respond to catastrophic situations such as that of Hurricane Maria.

Since setting them up, Hurricane Dorian was able to serve as a drill to review the vulnerabilities of the emergency plans being set in place and see where they need to be improved.