Puerto Rico mayor warns of humanitarian crisis, ‘near-death conditions’ for elderly

Puerto Rico mayor warns of humanitarian crisis, ‘near-death conditions’ for elderly
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The mayor of Puerto Rico's largest city said Tuesday that many elderly people in San Juan's nursing homes were found in “near-death conditions” after Hurricane Maria swept through the country.

“Just yesterday we have been canvassing one by one all of our elderly homes, finding our elderly, and I’m not kidding, we have to transfer 11 of them, in near-death conditions,” Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz told CNN’s “New Day.”

“No food. No water. No electricity. And really, the sanitary conditions were deplorable.”

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Cruz in the interview emphasized that the U.S. territory is in “a humanitarian crisis,” but noted the aid is beginning to makes its way to the island.

“But make no doubt about it, there is a humanitarian crisis, not only in San Juan, but in the rest of the island,” Cruz said.

Cruz’s comments come as Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has been pleading for additional help and resources to aid in the island’s recovery effort.

The White House on Monday sent Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Brock Long and homeland security adviser Tom Bossert to the island to assess the storm’s damage.