Number of people without electricity in Puerto Rico still rising

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The number of residents of the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico without power is still increasing as the island recovers from major hurricanes that left millions of people without electricity and clean drinking water.

Puerto Rico’s government says that roughly 10 percent of the island’s 3.4 million U.S. citizens have electricity as of Tuesday morning, a decrease of about six percentage points from Monday. The island’s electrical grid was almost completely destroyed by storm damage from Hurricane Maria last month.

The news comes just one day after Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo Rosselló asked the federal government for an additional $4.6 billion in funding beyond the Trump administration’s request last week for $29 billion from Congress for relief efforts.


“Puerto Rico has experienced a natural disaster of a magnitude not seen in over a century, and we are doing everything possible to address the needs of the American citizens of Puerto Rico during this time of crisis,” Rosselló wrote.

“However, the unprecedented level of destruction, coupled with the almost complete shut-down of business in Puerto Rico, have made it impossible for us to meet the considerable human needs without the measures proposed above.”

The White House also announced Monday that it would allow a 10-day waiver temporarily blocking the Jones Act to expire, meaning foreign ships can no longer bring aid to the hurricane-ravaged island from U.S. ports.

Experts estimate the cost of damage caused by Maria between $45 and $90 billion. Officials on the island expect electricity to not be fully restored for up to six months.

Tags Disaster disaster relief Economy of Puerto Rico hurricane

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