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San Juan Mayor: This Is A 'People Are Dying' Story

30 September 2017

WASHINGTON-On the defensive over the pace of federal help for Puerto Rico, U.S. President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans cleared the way Thursday for more supplies and government cash for the hurricane-ravaged U.S. island.

Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted that "food and water [were] on site".

"This is a "people are dying" story", she said in disbelief.

State troopers boarded a Delta plane September 29 for their Hurricane Relief mission in Puerto Rico.

Trump administration officials say with most power lines and cell towers down, the lack of electricity and communication has made coordinating help particularly hard.

QAfter a month filled with hurricanes, I've been particularly anxious about the victims of Hurricane Maria because a lot of the Caribbean's infrastructure was destroyed and the islands can be hard to access.

Despite the devastation in Puerto Rico, Lopez thinks the people will rebuild. "What the American people have to be ready for and the people of Puerto Rico have to be ready for is this is gonna be years long".

After the storm hit, eight US representatives asked acting head of Homeland Security Elaine Duke to waive the Jones Act to help hurricane relief just as the country did for Texas and Florida.

White House's slow response to aid Puerto Rico a disgrace
People fill containers with water at an area hit by Hurricane Maria in Canovanas, Puerto Rico , on September 26, 2017. MORE: Stars lend personal jets for Puerto Rico hurricane reliefThe first leg of their flight takes them to Miami.

Perhaps in response to Cruz' impatient retort, Secretary Duke followed a tour of the island with a news conference Friday and said, "Despite working together, I know that the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are suffering".

Trump administration waives shipping law...

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, an Army infantry officer who served multiple tours in Iraq, is expected to take over at the island command headquarters set up in the convention center in San Juan, the capital. CharityNavigator.org and the Better Business Bureau's Give.org have lists of charities that meet their standards and focus on Hurricane Maria relief.

Puerto Rico, home to more than 3 million USA citizens, has had limited food, bottled water and medical supplies since Hurricane Maria struck nine days ago.

Despite the dismal conditions, critics note that Trump moved slowly on temporarily lifting a law that requires goods shipped between USA ports to travel on ships built in the states with U.S. crews, which aid workers pointed out was one of the biggest obstacles to getting the island quick relief in the wake of the storm.

People wait at a gas station to fill up their fuel containers, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 27, 2017.

On Twitter on Friday, Trump also continued to tout his and his administration's response, relaying that Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló had said: "The administration and the President, every time we've spoken, they've delivered".

The Trump administration has said its relief efforts are succeeding, but people on the island say help is scarce and disorganized.

San Juan Mayor: This Is A 'People Are Dying' Story