Students and teachers at a school in Puerto Rico jumped and cheered with joy, celebrating the return of electricity to the building after 112 days.
Their ecstatic reactions were caught on camera and posted on Facebook last week by the San Juan school, Academia Bautista de Puerto Nuevo. In the video, staff walk through the school cheering and ringing bells, as children cheer inside classrooms.
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“After 112 days, THE LIGHT IS BACK!,” the school’s post read. “Indisputable joy from all of us who are part of the ABPN.”
The school also thanked parents, staff and students for their patience through the struggle to get power back.
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Power was knocked out for all of Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million residents when Hurricane Maria struck on Sept. 20, 2017 — it was the region’s worst disaster in 90 years. While the school has its power back, several areas are still without electricity.
Since the category 5 storm, Puerto Rico has been calling on the federal government for increased assistance in rebuilding. On Wednesday, the director of Puerto Rico’s financial authority, AAFAF, urged U.S. officials to hasten their decision-making process for providing disaster relief.
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In October, U.S. lawmakers approved a US$4.9-billion loan to hurricane-ravaged governments in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Texas and Florida. The money is meant to help maintain basic services, but Puerto Rico has yet to see its share.
The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has said Puerto Rico could not begin drawing on the loan because its cash balances are too high.
“Funds will be provided … when the commonwealth’s central cash balance decreases to a certain level,” FEMA said in a statement earlier this month.
— With files from Reuters