Puerto Rico emergency management chief resigns

Puerto Rico emergency management chief resigns
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Puerto Rico’s top emergency management official resigned on Friday.

Abner Gomez, the director of the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency, left the post on Friday amid the country’s lagging response efforts following Hurricane Maria, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló (D) announced.

Officials revealed in October that Gomez was on a two-week vacation despite the American territory’s struggles to recover following the storm. The governor’s office at the time said he was “exhausted.”

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Rosselló on Friday extended “our gratitude to Abner Gomez for his availability and work over the past months at the helm of these important agencies,” he said in a statement. “I wish him the greatest of success in his future endeavors."

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico when it slammed the island in September.

Nearly two months later, the island is still a long way from full strength. As of Friday morning, according to government statistics, less than 41 percent of the power has been resorted to the island and only 78 percent of people have clean drinking water.

The progress officials have made is tenuous: A power line there briefly failed on Thursday, leaving many cities, including the capital, without power.

Rosselló and officials from the state-run electric utility and federal oversight board are due to testify before a Senate committee next week.