Puerto Rico shows resilience amid hard recovery from Maria

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — President Trump lashed out at leaders of hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico on Saturday with a tweetstorm. Mr. Trump accused the mayor of San Juan and others of “poor leadership,” adding “they want everything to be done for them.”

Hours later, he backtracked with: “An amazing job is being done in Puerto Rico. Great people.”

Mr. Trump is at his golf club in New Jersey this weekend. He will visit the American territory on Tuesday. 

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President Trump lashed out on Twitter after criticism from San Juan’s mayor.

CBS News

CBS News’ David Begnaud has been in Puerto Rico for 12 nights, reporting on the storm and the island’s resilience.

“It’s been so slow that it’s put lives in danger,” said San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, who responded to the president’s tweets.  

“There’s a disconnect between what has been said and the reality. Yesterday Gen. Buchanan said we don’t have enough troops and enough equipment,” Cruz said. 

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San Juan’s mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz asked for help for her city.

CBS News

On Friday, the mayor pleaded for more help.

“I am asking the president of the United States to make sure somebody is in charge,” she said. 

That was after she spent nearly a week helping to evacuate residents. 

Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Rossello also commented on Mr. Trump’s tweets.

“My read on this is it’s in the context of the mayor of San Juan,” Rossello said.

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Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

CBS News

The governor visited San Juan’s port early Saturday, where the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sent 2.4 million liters of water and 1.3 million servings of food.  

“We’re going to move them quickly to 11 points in Puerto Rico where mayors can go get food, water for their communities,” Rossello said. 

After asking for volunteers to drive trucks due to a shortage of drivers, the governor watched today as truckers pulled out of gates at the port of San Juan, hauling supplies to grocery stores around the island. 

More than 50 percent of gas stations are back up and running. Home phone service has been restored to 30 percent of the island, and 10,000 people are still living in shelters.

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Government supplies arriving in Puerto Rico.

CBS News

“Are we satisfied? Of course not. We still need to get to everyone in Puerto Rico,” Rossello said. 

FEMA says they’ve already delivered aid to almost every municipality on the island. The official death count is 16. That is expected to go higher. 

We’ve confirmed three sister died when a mudslide washed away their home. A fourth sister was able to run away and call for help.

Omar Villafranca is also in San Juan, with more on the recovery efforts.

There are signs of progress in San Juan, 10 days after Maria crippled the island’s infrastructure. Some busses are back running weekend routes in the capital. 

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Wreckage from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

CBS News

“I think they are doing everything possible because there is still debris on the roads and they are doing everything to help us. I don’t have a car and I need the transportation,” said bus passenger Wilson Rivera.

The day after the storm made landfall, Marines launched onto the island from the Navy’s USS Kearsarge. 

CBS News caught up with the Marines earlier this week in the El Yunque National Forest. Their mission: Clear 16 miles of roads that lead to two vital communications towers. As of Saturday, engineers have cleared access to seven damaged towers. 

Yabucoa was the first Puerto Rican town to get hit by Maria, and one of the last to get help. When the relief trucks rolled into town, residents like Manolo Morales were desperate for food and water.

He said they didn’t have much inside — this is a gift from god. Now they just have water and squash and whatever food that’s been given in these packages. 

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Gas lines in loiza, Puerto Rico.

CBS News

In loiza, the gas lines are still long — but the 2 hour wait is considered progress. Wanda Quiñones was checking up on her 92-year-old father.

She said they need food and water, before she said they do have medicine for now.

FEMA says the San Juan Airport is open for business and can now handle 250 flights a day.

Source: CBS News – United States

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