Prayers for Puerto Rico - Residents without food, water or electricity as some facilities reopen
The situation in Puerto Rico remains dire as the first shipments of food arrive. The island has been without power, or drinkable water since hurricane Maria struck a direct blow on September 20. Food remains scarce, but is starting to trickle in.
People walk though flooded streets in the aftermath of Maria. Several places remain flooded.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- Electricity across most of Puerto Rico remains out, although generators have provided some power in places that need it. San Juan has electricity in some places. Some cell phones appear to be working. People have been communicating via social media, letting one another know they are okay. But the need for food and water remains serious.
The Coast Guard has cleared some ports for reopening, and this has allowed cargo ships to make deliveries. In the capital of San Juan, some supermarkets and even some restaurants have reopened. However, lines at the supermakrets are very long. Most of the shelves are bare. Grocers are rationing food items to distribute them fairly. Cash is in short supply, and electronic payments cannot be processed without electricity or processing systems. There is still no water, even in the stores.
Even tourists are trapped on the island, unable to get flights home. One couple reported they were eating oatmeal for every meal, cooked on a propane stone in their rented apartment.
The island remains destroyed with only a few places having electricity. Roads and bridges are washed out, and some places are entirely out of communication. The town of Rincon on the west coast of the island is one such place.
The National Guard has arrived to deliver food and water to the people.
Rincon has been out of communication with the rest of the world since September 20. The only word from the town is a social media post from the mayor who said there is no water or electricity, and 400 homes have been destroyed. However, he did report there are no fatalities.
Most people on the island have not heard from family members elsewhere on the island.
The island remains devastated. People have not been able to start the repairs on their homes because they lack supplies. Most are focused on immediate survival.
It is unclear how long it will take before Puerto Rico is back to normal. Certainly, much of the island will be different than what it was, thanks to the way Maria scoured the landscape. The food supply should increase. It may be months before electricity and water supplies are restored, at least in some areas.
Complicating the problems is the fact that the island is bankrupt and owes millions in debt to Wall Street firms. This will make it more expensive to rebuild, and much more difficult to obtain the funds the island needs.
A woman does laundry in a flooded gutter. The island remains without water.
The crisis in Puerto Rico isn't going to end anytime soon. And until late November, there is a risk of more storms hitting the island. The island's residents need money, support, and prayers in great abundance.
Thousands of people remain stranded at airports on the island.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed. That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.
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