Puerto Rico is struggling in the grips of a humanitarian crisis.
Whole towns have been left without water, power or even phone service after the passage of Hurricane Maria. Homes near the Guajataca Dam were evacuated after cracks were seen in the structure, feeding fears of a collapse.
On Monday night, this was how U.S. President Donald Trump responded.
Trump issued a series of tweets slamming the state of Puerto Rico’s infrastructure, saying that its “old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated.”
He went on to say that “much of the island was destroyed, with billions of dollars owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with.”
Coverage of Puerto Rico on Globalnews.ca:
Trump did, however, say that “food, water and medical are top priorities – and doing well.”
Conditions on the ground have suggested otherwise.
Puerto Rico’s medical facilities are in precarious shape — a number of hospitals are flooded and depending on diesel generators just so they can keep operating.
Certain hospitals are low on fuel, too.
Residents have also had a tough time finding food, and means of communication like internet, email and cellphone service have almost disappeared.
People there are depending on the radio for updates.
Officials in Puerto Rico expect that conditions at hospitals could deteriorate even further as certain facilities lose even their backup power.
There are as many as 3.4 million American citizens living in Puerto Rico.
- With files from Reuters