One month after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, millions of Americans remain in a dire humanitarian crisis, with hundreds of thousands lacking food, water, shelter, electricity, and access to basic services. Maria by the numbers:
Here is a by-the-numbers account of how things on the island currently stand.
Power and Personnel
- More than a third of Puerto Rican households, or about 1 million people, still lack running water according to CNN.
- FEMA says it has distributed 23.6 million liters (6.2 million gallons) of bottled and bulk water in Puerto Rico. That figure includes water for hospitals and dialysis centers
- These deliveries equate to only 9% of the island's drinking water requirement, going by the World Health Organization's (WHO) assessment that each person needs at least 2.5 liters (2/3 of a gallon) per day. Some residents are so desperate for drinking water they have broken into polluted wells at industrial waste sites.
- The shortfall is far greater when you consider the WHO also recommends 15 liters per person per day for basic cooking and hygiene needs. Dirty water ups the risk of diseases like cholera and at least one person has died as a result of being unable to get to dialysis treatment on time, CNN reports.
- Some 86% of grocery stores have re-opened. But they are not necessarily stocked.
- FEMA says 60,000 homes need roofing help. It has delivered 38,000 tarps.
- Less than 20% of Puerto Rico's power grid has been restored and around 3 million people are still without power, says CNN
- The news broadcaster adds that 75% of antennas are down so even those able to charge phones are unlikely to have cellular service.
- All of the island's hospitals are now up and running, with most using back-up systems, but only a quarter are being supplied with power from the grid, says Axios
- According to CNN, FEMA has deployed 1,700 personnel in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were also ravaged by Hurricane Maria. That's 900 less that the 2,600 FEMA personnel reportedly still in Texas and Florida, but the agency told CNN that around 20,000 other federal staff and military have been deployed in response to Maria.
- Thousands of people have donated money or volunteered to help Puerto Rico. Among them, celebrity chef José Andrés says he's serving 100,000 meals a day on the island.
Puerto Rico is a disaster area and remain so for months if not longer. Look at Haiti in the wake of that devastating earthquake almost six years ago, and how the country is still struggling for even day-to-day functions. There's good news, but at this rate Puerto Rico will get statehood before it gets power.
The disaster continues, and it remains Trump's fault.