SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico’s government said on Thursday that its priority was to ensure that water, food and other essential supplies reach the Caribbean island’s most isolated areas, where people say aid is not flowing quickly enough to those affected by last month’s devastating Hurricane Maria.
Gov. Ricardo Rossello said in his daily press conference that routes had been established to get basic necessities to hard-to-access zones of the United States commonwealth.
He said that plan included interior municipalities such as Maricao, Las Marias, Utuado, Lares, Adjuntas, Jayuya, Ciales, Florida, Corozal and Barranquitas.
“We’re going to establish those areas – of the interior – as a priority for the distribution of water and food,” Rossello said, adding that it is crucial for the municipalities to communicate where the distribution points are located.
“The problem is that people don’t know where the distribution points are,” he said after noting that getting aid to some areas of the interior was very challenging due to the mountainous terrain.
The governor said the US government’s Federal Communications Commission had voted unanimously to provide more than $76 million in funds to restore telecommunications service on the Caribbean island.
Power has been restored to 9.2 percent of Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) subscribers – all of whom had lost service when the hurricane demolished the island’s electrical grid on Sept. 20 – and that figure could climb to 10 percent this weekend, according to Rossello.