Puerto Rico investigates post-hurricane disease outbreak

FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2017 file photo, people affected by Hurricane Maria bathe in water piped in from a mountain creek, in Naranjito, Puerto Rico. Four deaths in Hurricane Maria’s aftermath are being investigated as possible cases of a disease spread by animals’ urine, Puerto Rico’s governor said Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, amid concerns about islanders’ exposure to contaminated water. On a U.S. territory where a third of customers remain without running water three weeks after the hurricane, some became ill after turning to local streams to relieve their thirst. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File)

The Associated Press

President Trump served notice Thursday that he may pull back federal workers from Puerto Rico, effectively threatening to abandon the U.S. territory amid a humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

“Electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes. Congress to decide how much to spend,” the president tweeted, adding: “We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!”

More than three weeks after Maria, more than 80 percent of the island is still without power. Just 63 percent of the island’s residents have access to clean drinking water, and only 60 percent of wastewater treatment plants are operating, according to FEMA.

The morning tweets came as the House is on track to support his reust for billions more in disaster aid and emergency funding to help the government of Puerto Rico stay afloat.

Thursday's hurricane aid package totals $36.5 billion and sticks close to a White House request, ignoring — for now — huge demands from the powerful Florida and Texas delegations, who together pressed for some $40 billion more.

A steady series of disasters — massive flooding in Texas, hurricane damage in Florida, and a humanitarian crisis in hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico — could be putting 2017 on track to rival Hurricane Katrina and other 2005 storms as the most costly set of disasters ever. Katrina required about $110 billion in emergency appropriations.

Angry
6
Sad
0
Funny
0
Wow
0
Love
2

Load comments