By EVAN ALDO
Hurricane Maria left a disastrous mark on the U.S. territory, leaving 3.4 million American citizens without the essential resources of life: food, water, electricity, communications, transportation and much more. These residents urgently need assistance.
The U.S. federal government bears a huge responsibility in this crisis. When a natural disaster strikes the mainland, such as with Hurricane Harvey in Texas, trucks with federal assistance arrive to help with rescue efforts. Shelter is also provided to those who are left homeless.
However, in Puerto Rico, barely any of this assistance has been provided.
Residents of the island are running out of the meager supplies they had before Maria hit. Most of these people can learn to live without air conditioning and electricity, however they cannot survive without clean water and food. To make matters even worse, most of these people had not even fully recovered from the effects of Hurricane Irma that hit just a few weeks prior.
Unlike, individual U.S state governments, the territory’s government cannot provide much help because it is in a deep financial crisis. Plagued by debt, the government is barely even functioning at all. The island has no resources and its infrastructure is old and dilapidated.
The capitol city, San Juan, has an international airport that is open, but its flights are very limited. People in the U.S. mainland who want to offer help are simply unable to. Most have no way to even get in contact with their relatives on the island.
Things get even worse. Hospitals are running out of fuel to keep generators running. When these generators stop running, patients will die.
Some rural areas are cut off because roads are blocked by fallen trees and flooding. Police across the island are exhausted and overworked.
Lots of water, food, and fuel must be brought immediately in order to keep people alive. More workers must be brought in to fix power stations and bring back electricity. Shelters must be created for tens of thousands of people who are homeless.
These are our fellow Americans, they deserve the same support that any state would receive.