Supplies meant for Puerto Ricans suffering hurricane aftermath found abandoned
According to reports from Think Progress, water, food, baby supplies, Tylenol, and other items were found abandoned in ten trailers packed full of donations for Puerto Ricans affected by Hurricane Maria. The items donated were allegedly found rotting in a rat-infested environment at a state elections office parking lot on the island. Authorities have already admitted the supplies were abandoned for a year.
Radio Isla, a Puerto Rican radio station, posted a video which shows the cases covered in rat and lizard droppings, intended for but having never reached anyone who was affected by Hurricane Maria. The supplies would have definitely assisted thousands of people who were forced to survive months without running water or electricity.
A National Guard spokesperson told the New York Times that the stores of supplies should have been delivered “as soon as possible,” and that some of the supplies had most likely been donated after the National Guard ended its mission in May. However, Nicolás Gautier, interim president of Puerto Rico’s elections council told the CBS News he has been reaching out to the governor’s office and the National Guard to inquire about plans to distribute the material, but got no response.
Adding insult to injury, there has also recently been an updated death toll tally for the storm which is nearly 20 times the government’s initial official count of 69. According to new reports, 1,427 people died in Hurricane Maria and its aftermath.The number came from statistics from a death registry that were made public in June, but was not initially acknowledged by Puerto Rican officials.