Now that Hurricane Maria has left and the winds have subsided, the citizens of Puerto Rico are coming to terms with their new reality. No electricity, no running water, no telephones or internet, a dam that can burst at any moment and total dependence on the US sending supplies. Fallen trees are blocking main highways, telephone masts are damaged and power lines lie cut across the roads. Many homes are without roofs while whole areas are still completely flooded, leaving some residents no choice but to sleep out in nature.
It is safe to say that a humanitarian crisis is growing by the minute for Puerto Rico, which so far has lost 13 people to the hurricane.
A group of mayors from some of the coastal towns had gotten into a car and drove to the capital to speak to the governor of the island, urging him to do more, ask for more help.
Mayor Jose Sanchez Gonzalez of the small town of Manati: “Hysteria is starting to spread. The hospital is about to collapse. It’s at capacity. We need someone to help us immediately.”
The hurricane has hit the island hard, much harder than last time a hurricane of this magnitude hit. Governor Rosello was keen to admit: “This is without a doubt the biggest catastrophe in modern history for Puerto Rico.”
The local authorities don’t know where to start, having to admit it could take months to restore electricity to all 3.4 million of the US island territory's residents.
All they can now hope for is that President Donald Trump indeed makes good on his promise to visit the island, which he repeated a few days ago. The White House administration admitted Puerto Rico needs help as the island was "totally obliterated" by the storm.
President Trump declared the island a disaster area and has thus made federal emergency aid available.